Society

Trump Cancels Visit To African-American History Museum

| by David Bonner

It was announced on Jan. 14 that President-elect Donald Trump would observe Martin Luther King Jr. Day by visiting the Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture.

However, he has now decided to commemorate the civil rights leader in some other way, reports the Daily Mail.

The change of plans occurs soon after civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis remarked on "Meet the Press" that he did not consider Trump to be a "legitimate president." He explained: "I think the Russians participated in helping this man get elected, and they helped destroy the candidacy of [former Secretary of State] Hillary Clinton."

Lewis was the original sponsor of the legislation to build the museum. He introduced the legislation in 1988, and it was signed into law 15 years later by President George W. Bush.

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The museum states a few facts in the lead on its official site: 

The National Museum of African American History and Culture is the only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, history, and culture. It was established by Act of Congress in 2003, following decades of efforts to promote and highlight the contributions of African Americans. To date, the Museum has collected more than 36,000 artifacts and nearly 100,000 individuals have become charter members. The Museum opened to the public on September 24, 2016, as the 19th and newest museum of the Smithsonian Institution.

Lewis's remarks about Trump led predictably to a Twitter response from the president-elect, who said, "Congressman John Lewis should finally focus on the burning and crime infested inner-cities of the U.S. I can use all the help I can get!" Trump also tweeted that the Lewis's district in Atlanta "is in horrible shape and falling apart (not to mention crime infested)."

Lewis later announced that he would not be attending Trump's Jan. 20 inauguration ceremonies. Trump's transition team explained that the decision to skip the planned visit to the museum was due to scheduling issues.

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According to The Hill, President Barack Obama was the one who actually suggested Trump visit the museum following remarks African-American communities were “in the worst shape that they've ever been in before.”

Sources: The Hill, Daily Mail, National Museum of African American History and Culture / Photo credit: Congressman John Lewis

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