Civil rights museum that denied Donald Trump a photo op now receiving bomb threats

After Trump was barred from a historic civil rights museum, his supporters got angry

By Sophia Tesfaye

Senior Politics Editor

Published October 5, 2016 7:48PM (EDT)


A North Carolina civil rights museum that recently rejected a request to visit from Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has since come under the threat of violence and destruction.

The International Civil Rights Center and Museum in Greensboro said it was forced to turn away the Republican presidential nominee late last month after his campaign staff was “aggressive and rude” to museum personnel.

According to museum CEO John Swaine, Trump’s team was not interested in a tour of the facility that includes the landmark site of the F.W. Woolworth whites-only lunch counter, where a historic civil rights protest took place. Museum staff indicated that Trump was interested only in a photo op while he was in the state campaigning and demanded that the institution be closed for a substantial part of the day.  

“We did not honor the request of the Donald Trump campaign because we thought [what its members] demonstrated in their approach was disrespectful, so therefore we did not grant" it,” museum co-founder Earl Jones explained at the time.

Said Jones: “Mr. Trump is welcome to come to the museum, just as everyone else, but he’s not going to receive any special treatment.” 

Since news of the Trump rejection broke, the museum staff has claimed it has been targeted. On Tuesday North Carolina’s News & Observer reported that museum staffers have received threats by phone and on social media.

“The callers were threatening to come over and burn down the building and to shoot up the building,” the museum’s CEO Swaine told The News & Observer:

Swaine said callers have used foul language and racial epithets, and he said museum employees are now recording the calls

“They’ve lessened in frequency this week, but they’re still coming in,” Swaine told the paper.

"We made it known to Mr. Trump’s campaign that we were not going to grant a request of suspending our operations so he could somehow try to legitimize his ideological positions,” he told the News and Observer. “The landmark is very important – it’s not just a political backdrop.”

Trump's campaign spokesman in North Carolina, Kirk Bell, told the News and Observer that the campaign "is not commenting on this matter."

Watch the original local news report below:

By Sophia Tesfaye

Sophia Tesfaye is Salon's senior editor for news and politics, and resides in Washington, D.C. You can find her on Twitter at @SophiaTesfaye.

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