Splattered all over the front page of Memeorandum, Haley Barbour, Governor of Mississippi, chair of the Republican Governors and former Chair (Under Dubya) of the Republican National Committee is in trouble for another bit of revisionist Southern history. Matt Yglesias at ThinkProgress:
Andrew Ferguson’s profile of Haley Barbour reveals that the guy is dangerously ignorant about the history of race in his state:
Both Mr. Mott and Mr. Kelly had told me that Yazoo City was perhaps the only municipality in Mississippi that managed to integrate the schools without violence. I asked Haley Barbour why he thought that was so.
“Because the business community wouldn’t stand for it,” he said. “You heard of the Citizens Councils? Up north they think it was like the KKK. Where I come from it was an organization of town leaders. In Yazoo City they passed a resolution that said anybody who started a chapter of the Klan would get their ass run out of town. If you had a job, you’d lose it. If you had a store, they’d see nobody shopped there. We didn’t have a problem with the Klan in Yazoo City.”
In interviews Barbour doesn’t have much to say about growing up in the midst of the civil rights revolution. “I just don’t remember it as being that bad,” he said. “I remember Martin Luther King came to town, in ’62. He spoke out at the old fairground and it was full of people, black and white.”
But I covered this over eight months ago, and THEN, Haley Barbour claimed to have no knowledge of WHO the “Citizen’s Councils” were: Continue reading