Donald Trump honored the sacrifice of black civil rights pioneers in statements at the opening of a Mississippi museum boycotted by black lawmakers and others who said the president’s conduct in agency has been an affront to the movement.

The civil right museum’s displays underlined the” persecution, cruelty and unfairnes imposed on the African American community ,” Trump said in a 10 -minute speech at the Museum of Mississippi History and Mississippi Civil Rights Museum in Jackson.

The president expended about 40 minutes at the museums, including his remarks, is complemented by Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant, a Republican, and Housing Secretary Ben Carson , among others. He winged in Saturday from his club in Palm Beach, Florida, and returned there after the event.

The president paid tribute to the” Christian pastors who started the civil rights movement ,” including Reverend Martin Luther King Jr, whom Trump said he’d” admired all my life ,” and civil rights leaders such as Medgar Evers, whose friend Charles, 95, a former Republican mayor of Fayette, Mississippi, spoke to the president on the tarmac of the Jackson airport.

Killed by KKK

Medgar Evers” was assassinated by a member of the KKK in the driveway of his own home ,” Trump said. He added that at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, where Evers was hid,” headstones do not mark the colour of their skin but commemorate the courage of their deeds .”

Charles Evers, an early Trump supporter during the 2016 campaign, said he thanked the president for coming, and offered his congratulations for the economic improvements he said would benefit all Americans. Evers said he hadn’t seen much of a altered in race relations since Trump’s election, and supposed the president’s speech Saturday hit all the right notes.

” He was very, very, very, very welcome ,” Evers said in a phone interview.” I suppose people enjoyed it, and I’m proud of it. I’m so proud he came here .” For his part, Trump said at the museum that he liked Charles Evers a lot:” He was so nice .”

Hurtful Policies

Representative John Lewis of Georgia, a hero of the civil rights motion, and Representative Bennie Thompson of Mississippi canceled their appearances at the museum opening because of Trump’s decision to attend.

The two Democratic lawmakers said in a statement that” President Trump’s attendance and his hurtful policies are an insult to the people portrayed in this civil rights museum .” The NAACP likewise called on Trump to cancel his plans to attend, saying his appearance at the ceremony would be divisive.

Trump’s visit to the museum came less than 24 hours after the president held a rallying in Pensacola, Florida, where he publicly endorsed Roy Moore, the controversial Alabama U.S. Senate candidate.

Speaking in northern Florida, about 20 miles( 32 kilometers) from the Alabama state line, Trump urged the crowed to” Get out and vote for Roy Moore .” Trump tweeted assistance for the former Alabama judge again early Saturday.

Controversial Statements

Moore has been criticized by civil rights presidents, most recently for remarks that resurfaced this week in which he said the last time America was great was during the period of slavery. Moore said at a September rally that the nation” was great at the time when households were united — even though we had bondage — they cared for each other ,” in agreement with the Los Angeles Times.

Moore has also made controversial statements in the past that Muslims shouldn’t be allowed to serve in Congress and that lesbian behaviour should be illegal.

For his part, Trump was widely blamed in August for his response to violent, racially-charged protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, went on to say that “both sides” shared blame for the incidents. He’s also faced pressure to more strongly condemn white supremacists who support him.

NFL Criticism

Most recently, Trump has been criticized for singling out jocks, many of whom are black, for kneeling during the national anthem at NFL games as a protest against police barbarism against minorities.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Thursday it was ” inauspiciou that these members of Congress wouldn’t join the President in honoring the unbelievable sacrifice civil right presidents made to right the unfairness in our history .”

Lewis, 77, was a president of the civil rights motion in the 1960 s. He was one of the original 13 Freedom Rider who challenged segregation on interstate buses in a journey across the South in 1960, and one of the organizers of the 1963 March on Washington. In a 1965 procession for voting rights, Lewis was beaten and had his skull fractured by state trooper at the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama. The melee, which became known as” Bloody Sunday ,” triggered national outrage leading to the Voting Rights Act of 1965.