Otis Sanford:President Trump & the MS Civil Rights Museum opening

Trump at Value Voter Summit

(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Under normal circumstances, a visit from the President to any community to celebrate an important, non-political event would be welcomed and appreciated.  But these are not normal times and many would argue that we are not witnessing a normal presidency.

Hence, a planned visit by President Donald Trump to Jackson, Mississippi on Saturday is creating more controversy than celebration.

Mr. Trump accepted an invitation from Governor Phil Bryant to speak at the grand opening of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum, but  given his documented history of racial intolerance, several people who should be at the museum opening will stay away. They include Georgia Congressman John Lewis, whose own civil rights history is legendary, and Mississippi Representative Bennie Thompson, the only African American from the state serving in Congress.

They and others maintain that President Trump`s featured appearance is inappropriate given his track record of racial insensitivity.

Of course, others will say this is nonsense. It is absolutely proper for the President to attend, and those planning to boycott are playing petty politics.

Here`s where I stand: It would be great if we had a President who could rise to such a solemn occasion. A President who instinctively knew what to say and how to say it because it was heartfelt. But the fact is, we don`t have that kind of President.

On Saturday, we can only cross our fingers and hope for the best.