Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Haley Barbour now says racism is bad

Jim Crow Republican Haley Barbour now says those pro-segregation, white-supremacist Citizens Councils in the South, including in his hometown of Yazoo City, Mississippi, were "indefensible":

It was a difficult and painful era for Mississippi, the rest of the country, and especially African Americans who were persecuted in that time.

It was, to put it mildly, but you'll excuse me if I don't believe a word this racist blowhard says.

At Slate, David Weigel writes that "[t]he pattern revealed by his "gaffes," though, is of a politician who thinks racism isn't really a problem anymore, and that liberals get too much political leverage from the memory of the Civil Rights era."

I think that's understating, and somewhat misrepresenting, Barbour's race "problem." This is a man, after all -- Barbour, not Weigel -- who has a Confederate flag signed by Jefferson Davis in his office, a man who in 2003 attended a fundraiser for the Council of Conservative Citizens, a pro-segregation, white-supremacist group, a man with a long history of playing the race card to win white votes.

Is he an out-and-out racist? Maybe not -- at least not anymore. But he's certainly enough of a politician to know when to correct himself and to say what has to be said (particularly when eyeing a presidential run). Which he did. He just doesn't have any credibility. You'd have to be a fool to believe him.

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