When I first read about Governor Haley Barbour’s comments regarding the Civil Rights era in Mississippi, I prepared myself to be not even a little shocked.
Barbour has a habit of adding a healthy dash of bullshit to anything having to do with race, so I expected to see comments spinning [insert well documented oppression here] as being blown way up into a whole bunch of diddlysquat.
In a recent profile Barbour offered up his personal opinion that White Citizens Councils of the 1960s were a positive anti-Klan force in his community and that the Civil Rights era wasn’t “that bad”.
Yep, that’s Barbour!
The same Governor Barbour who once joked about watermelon’s and black people.
The same Governor Barbour who said slavery wasn’t significant enough to warrant mention in Virginia’s freakish Confederate History Month celebration.
The same Governor Barbour who said the South of his recollection was integrated by the 1960’s.
In Barbour’s fantastically revised history, Mississippi was one big happy family where everyone got along, White segregationists fought the Klan and black people chose to live separate and unequal with our own watermelon adoring people. Everything was going just great until a bunch of communists came down and stirred up trouble!
I’ll leave the correction of that bullshit to the outstanding Civil Rights documentary Eyes on the Prize…
…and ponder with some alarm that those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.