JACKSON, Miss. — President Donald Trump will not speak publicly Saturday when he attends the opening of the new Civil Rights Museum in Jackson, Mississippi, NBC reports.
Trump will still visit the museum, according to NBC, but instead of a public speech, he will tour the museum and speak at a private event before the public ceremony.
The decision comes after backlash from black leaders in Mississippi, several of whom said they would boycott the event and lead protests over Trump’s public appearance.
NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson called Trump’s planned visit “an affront to the veterans of the civil rights movement.”
In a joint statement released Thursday, Democratic Reps. John Lewis and Bennie G. Thompson said that after “conversations with church leaders, elected officials, civil right activists and many citizens of our congressional districts,” they had decided not to attend the opening if Trump was speaking there.
“President Trump’s attendance and his hurtful policies are an insult to the people portrayed in this civil rights museum,” the two congressmen said in a statement. “The struggles represented in this museum exemplify the truth of what really happened in Mississippi. President Trump’s disparaging comments about women, the disabled, immigrants and National Football League players disrespect the efforts of Fannie Lou Hamer, Aaron Henry, Medgar Evers, Robert Clark, James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, Michael Schwerner and countless others who have given their all for Mississippi to be a better place.”
Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant announced the changes late Thursday night.