MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Civil rights icon Reverend Jesse Jackson continued his weekend trip in Memphis on Monday at a fundraiser breakfast Monday morning. Leaders at the breakfast said they must speak out about the racial climate in the country right now.
The Christian Methodist Episcopal Church in Memphis held the breakfast in Whitehaven to raise funds for a $5 million renovation of Collins Chapel Correctional Hospital, but the talk quickly turned to politics.
"The President lost an opportunity to point out the evil of racism and hatred by those particular groups who are well-known," said Bishop Henry Williamson of the CME Church.
President Donald Trump's failure to specifically mention and denounce white supremacy in the hours after the Charlottesville, Virginia, attack over the weekend sparked controversy among Republican and Democratic lawmakers nationwide.
Monday, in a news conference, Trump officially denounced white supremacist groups.
Rev. Jackson was the keynote speaker Monday morning and said the Charlottesville incident should be a uniting force.
"Use the moment of violence to allow good people to come together," Jackson said.
Jackson spoke Saturday at the National Civil Rights Museum ahead of the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's death.
Monday morning, he told the audience that the country needs a multi-racial coalition of those who favor justice and advocate for strengthening historically black colleges, like LeMoyne-Owen College in Memphis.
He also said President Donald Trump needs to lay off Twitter.
"It's not just his Tweeting," Jackson said. "It's his policies that are detrimental to progress."
Bishop Williamson maintains it's what the president didn't say on Saturday that matters most.
"Of course he did not say enough. He should've spoken and spoken against the Klan and white nationalist groups who went there in hatred rather than love," said Williamson.