Right-wing radio host Ben Ferguson told CNN on Friday that civil rights icon John Lewis is not helping the "conversation on civil rights" by boycotting the Saturday grand opening of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum.
"President Trump's attendance and his hurtful policies are an insult to the people portrayed in this civil rights museum," Congressman John Lewis and Bennie Thompson said in a joint statement. "The struggles represented in this museum exemplify the truth of what really happened in Mississippi. President Trump's disparaging comments about women, the disabled, immigrants and National Football League players disrespect the efforts of Fannie Lou Hamer, Aaron Henry, Medgar Evers, Robert Clark, James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, Michael Schwerner and countless others who have given their all for Mississippi to be a better place."
CNN's conservative political analyst disagreed with the strategic conclusion reached by the two black members of congress.
"Ben Ferguson, how do you feel?" CNN anchor Brooke Baldwin asked.
"Yeah, I think it's a big missed opportunity for Representative Lewis," Ferguson answered. "Unfortunately, I think Representative Lewis looked at this as a political opportunity to kind of make it -- do a stunt against Donald Trump. And that's personal. That doesn't help with the conversation on civil rights or racism or anything else in this country."
The conservative commentator suggested that attending the event would give Rep. Lewis the opportunity to change the septuagenarian commander-in-chief's mind on racism.
"The bottom line is, the president's the most powerful man in the world. And if you feel like his viewpoint needs to change, why would you not take an opportunity where he's going to be sitting next to you to use your influence, your history, your credibility, your story to influence the president of the United States of America?" Ferguson asked.
He also seemed to think the purpose of the museum was something other than telling the history of the struggle for civil rights in Mississippi.
"And it divides people and doesn't bring them together, which I thought was the entire purpose of the museum," said Ferguson.
President Trump notoriously spent the week before his inauguration bashing Congressman Lewis.
Watch Ben Ferguson give strategic advice on dealing with racism to civil rights icon John Lewis: