Phil Bryant Praises White Officials for Evers Honor, Bashes Bennie Thompson


In the wake of a new federal law declaring civil-rights hero Medgar Evers' home a national monument, Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant credited President Donald Trump and Mississippi's two white Republican U.S. senators—but not the African American Mississippi congressman who spent 16 years pushing for its passage.

For years, Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson has introduced legislation to bring federal recognition and protections to the slain voting-rights activist's historic Jackson home, where white supremacist Byron de la Beckwith shot and killed him in his driveway in June 1963.

Thompson introduced bills to make Evers' home a national monument in 2010, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017 and 2018.

On Wednesday, though, after the U.S. House and Senate finally passed the legislation and Trump signed it into law, Bryant praised only the Republican president and senators.

"Thank you to @realDonaldTrump for signing legislation today to designate Medgar and Myrlie Evers home as a National Monument," he tweeted. "@SenatorWicker & @SenHydeSmith have worked very hard on this for some time and are to be commended."

Thompson responded the same day with a tweet of his own.

"Give adequate credit," Thompson wrote. "I've worked on this for 16 years."

Sixteen years is longer than Trump, Wicker and Hyde-Smith have each held their current offices. Trump has been president for a little more than two years, Wicker has been a senator for 12 years, and Hyde-Smith has held her seat for less than a year.

Wicker first supported efforts to study making the Evers home a national monument in 2015, when he co-sponsored a bill that Mississippi's former U.S. senator, Thad Cochran, introduced. Hyde-Smith first supported the effort last May, shortly after Bryant appointed her to the seat Cochran vacated.

Instead of owning up to his oversight and crediting Thompson, though, Bryant replied with a defiant statement on Thursday—and compared Thompson to the kind of hate that

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