Gov. Haley Barbour Realizes He Made a Big Mistake

Politics • Views: 16,160

From the “Saw This Coming” department: Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour is desperately trying to walk back his statements defending the segregationist White Citizens’ Councils: Barbour clarifies: Citizens councils ‘indefensible’.

When asked why my hometown in Mississippi did not suffer the same racial violence when I was a young man that accompanied other towns’ integration efforts, I accurately said the community leadership wouldn’t tolerate it and helped prevent violence there. My point was my town rejected the Ku Klux Klan, but nobody should construe that to mean I think the town leadership were saints, either. Their vehicle, called the ‘Citizens Council,’ is totally indefensible, as is segregation. It was a difficult and painful era for Mississippi, the rest of the country, and especially African Americans who were persecuted in that time.

Just for comparison, here’s the quote from Barbour’s Weekly Standard interview. If the Citizens’ Councils were “totally indefensible,” why did Barbour defend them — in a friendly interview?

“You heard of the Citizens Councils? Up north they think it was like the KKK,” said Barbour. “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.”

And why did Barbour’s official spokesman deny the Citizens’ Councils were racist groups?

“It was an organization in Yazoo City that was, you know, a group of the town leaders and business people,” Turner responded, then referring back to Barbour’s comment. “And they passed a resolution that said anybody who started a chapter of the Klan would get their ass run out of town. And that doesn’t sound like a racist to me. Does it to you?”

But now we’re supposed to believe he wasn’t praising or defending them? Barbour clearly realizes he made a mistake; he blew the dog whistle a bit too loudly.

Jump to bottom

31 comments
1 Obdicut  Tue, Dec 21, 2010 9:29:55am

And his spokesman's statement will need walking back, too:

"It was an organization in Yazoo City that was, you know, a group of the town leaders and business people," Turner responded, then referring back to Barbour's comment. "And they passed a resolution that said anybody who started a chapter of the Klan would get their ass run out of town. And that doesn't sound like a racist to me. Does it to you?"

2 jamesfirecat  Tue, Dec 21, 2010 9:32:16am

You know what's sad?

By the time the Daily Show gets back all the major fallout from this will probably have settled....

3 Sol Berdinowitz  Tue, Dec 21, 2010 9:34:26am

re: #2 jamesfirecat

You know what's sad?

By the time the Daily Show gets back all the major fallout from this will probably have settled...

The Daily Show writers have had it too easy lately, all they have to do is air a quote from some raging nutbag and then cut to John Stewart's gaping eypression...

4 shutdown  Tue, Dec 21, 2010 9:36:15am

Barbour is backtracking... this is what we call it on the trading floor

5 Four More Tears  Tue, Dec 21, 2010 9:38:35am

re: #3 ralphieboy

The Daily Show writers have had it too easy lately, all they have to do is air a quote from some raging nutbag and then cut to John Stewart's gaping eypression...

I'm reminded of this Daily Show segment, where he scolds Bush for making things too easy for him:

6 ProdSlash  Tue, Dec 21, 2010 9:40:18am

I really want to know what happened to the GOP of Barry Goldwater. In that party, scum like Barbour wouldn't have made it through a local election.

7 b_sharp  Tue, Dec 21, 2010 9:42:11am

Walking backwards is extremely dangerous unless you have eyes in the back of your head, you never know what kind of shit you're going to step in.

8 wrenchwench  Tue, Dec 21, 2010 9:46:25am
9 makeitstop  Tue, Dec 21, 2010 9:48:10am

Barbour's walk-back is irrelevant to those who heard the dog whistle - they already heard what they wanted to hear from him. And now that he's offered a lame walk-back of his remarks, the media will treat it as 'case closed.'

Republicans have gotten really good at this over the years. They know that their original remarks will end up on page one, and the qualification of said remarks on page 30.

10 Very Very Urban  Tue, Dec 21, 2010 9:51:13am

re: #6 ProdSlash

Correct me if I'm wrong but wasn't Barry Goldwater opposed to integration?

11 Kragar  Tue, Dec 21, 2010 9:55:32am
12 blueraven  Tue, Dec 21, 2010 9:59:30am

re: #2 jamesfirecat

You know what's sad?

By the time the Daily Show gets back all the major fallout from this will probably have settled...

That may be true. However, if he is seriously considering a run for the republican nomination, this will resurface again and again. He will have to defend those statements forever. Big mistake!

13 Walter L. Newton  Tue, Dec 21, 2010 10:00:15am

re: #10 chadstanton

Correct me if I'm wrong but wasn't Barry Goldwater opposed to integration?

The Civil Rights Act, signed July 2, 1964, by President Lyndon Johnson, ended legal discrimination against blacks at hotels, restaurants and department stores. It also made discrimination illegal in hiring. Barry Goldwater, the Republican presidential nominee that year, decided to make himself a voice for opponents of the Act.

Goldwater said he supported the white Southern position on civil rights, which was that each and every state had a sovereign right to control its laws. The Arizona Republican argued that each American has the right to decide whom to hire, whom to do business with and whom to welcome in his or her restaurant. The senator was right at home with Southern politicians who called the Civil Rights Act an attack on "the Southern way of life."

[Link: www.npr.org...]

(you already knew this... right?)

14 blueraven  Tue, Dec 21, 2010 10:05:39am

OT...9 republicans (at least) and 58 democrats will support START treaty giving the necessary votes for ratification.

So says MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell.

15 Very Very Urban  Tue, Dec 21, 2010 10:06:22am

re: #13 Walter L. Newton

Yeah I just wanted to make sure I wasn't tripping. How is it that Barry Goldwater has, in some circles, become the paragon of clean conservative politics when he was one of the pioneers of the Southern Strategy and once remarked that the country would be better off without the Eastern seaboard?

16 shutdown  Tue, Dec 21, 2010 10:08:44am

re: #15 chadstanton

Yeah I just wanted to make sure I wasn't tripping. How is it that Barry Goldwater has, in some circles, become the paragon of clean conservative politics when he was one of the pioneers of the Southern Strategy and once remarked that the country would be better off without the Eastern seaboard?

The passage of time, combined with the absolute craziness of the current "centre" of the Republican Party, makes Rockefeller look like a socialist and Goldwater lie a moderate.

17 ssn697  Tue, Dec 21, 2010 10:13:03am

Getting a chuckle just *thinking* about Palin and Barbour debating during the Republican primaries. The other candidates can just step back and shine.

18 shutdown  Tue, Dec 21, 2010 10:15:18am

re: #17 ssn697

Getting a chuckle just *thinking* about Palin and Barbour debating during the Republican primaries. The other candidates can just step back and shine.

Stewart's head is going to explode. He'll have to do two shows a day just to keep up.

19 makeitstop  Tue, Dec 21, 2010 10:21:05am

I'm not sure what the protocol is for direct linking from comments, but Slate has a pretty funny post up about START.

Democrats on START: Nya Nya Nya Nya!

I hope I didn't break any rules by posting that link, Charles. If so, feel free to delete.

20 Ming  Tue, Dec 21, 2010 11:12:07am

The poor religious right has a problem. It's hard to bully African Americans these days. And since gays will soon be allowed to serve openly in the military, the religious right can't even bully gays as much as they could before. Who will they go after? Maybe they'll be left with doing what they did so well in 2000: picking on John McCain. Or they can get real mad about String Theory, or something.

21 Romantic Heretic  Tue, Dec 21, 2010 11:41:15am

I wonder if we'll see Gov. Barbour in a neck brace? Such sudden changes of direction are hard on the human body. /

22 moderatelyradicalliberal  Tue, Dec 21, 2010 12:02:11pm

re: #10 chadstanton

I don't think William F. Buckley was in favor of integration and civil rights either. He later expressed regret, but like many, he wasn't on the right side of history when his voice could have truly made a difference.

23 moderatelyradicalliberal  Tue, Dec 21, 2010 12:03:22pm

re: #20 Ming

It's almost as if nobody is willing to take crap from anybody else anymore. What has become of this country? When did everybody get so dang uppity?

///

24 robdouth  Tue, Dec 21, 2010 12:28:47pm

So no one is even going to mention that he's defending only the Yazoo city branch, which he claims did positive things. I didn't once see a defense of the group as a whole, and this whole "walk-back" is just a clarification that the group is indefensible, but that in his city, to the best of his memory, that was not what it was about. Given there is no information on the group specifically in Yazoo City, I believe you have to give someone the benefit of the doubt, or else you basically work to stifle any expression from politicians and you're reduced to talking points.

25 robdouth  Tue, Dec 21, 2010 12:30:16pm

re: #22 moderatelyradicalliberal


Good point, so if you ever make the choice to be on the wrong side of an issue, you are forever tarnished. Well I guess I'll be waiting to see the next meeting of the "right side of history" group with it's 2 or 3 members throughout all of history.

26 makeitstop  Tue, Dec 21, 2010 1:16:55pm

robdouth - There was information posted here about the Yazoo City Citizens Council (formerly known as the White Citizens Council) yesterday.

You might want to read through the earlier Barbour thread and acquiant yourself. Let's just say they weren't exactly the Welcome Wagon.

27 robdouth  Tue, Dec 21, 2010 1:34:29pm

re: #26 makeitstop

I read through it all, including the links to wikipedia about this semi- or quasi-national group. My understanding from the material (given the neutrality of the wiki page was under dispute) was that it was a group that was klan-like but without the hoods and had to do with the businessmen in communities. Sounded worse than the Klan in that it denied blacks economic opportunities, although I don't want to venture into a debate about whether crushing poverty through unwarranted economic sanctions is worse than threats and actions of physical violence and intimidation. Both sound equally awful. There's no way given that information that I would defend that group. I will however, defend any politician who gives an account of what he remember in his town. I can't possibly know what happened in Yazoo City specifically. And unless there is a link I missed, I always, be it the idiotic Danny glover non-troversy over what he said/didn't say or imply about Haiti, to Barbour on this issue, or anyone on any issue give the benefit of the doubt, and let them clarify their statements before I rush to judge them based on my own biases and pre-conceived notion. Otherwise, this just becomes another gotcha website that serves no real purpose other than to smear and humiliate those political figures that are disliked.

Same with the link about the young girls in marriage. I don't have time to research it, but the body of the link provided says the the GOP offered a counter-bill because of something unrelated to the part about protecting young women from unwanted marriages that amount to slavery. For goodness sake, use common sense and realize that most likely the vote was about some other procedural or spending issue that inevitably was tacked on to the bill, and was not voted against because they don't want to protect young girls.

But for some it already fits into their pre-conceived notions, so no further analysis is needed.

28 Charles Johnson  Tue, Dec 21, 2010 1:43:41pm

re: #27 robdouth

Otherwise, this just becomes another gotcha website that serves no real purpose other than to smear and humiliate those political figures that are disliked.

Give me a break.

If Barbour had said something like, "Back in those days we had the Citizens' Councils, and they were up to some pretty bad things, but I didn't really see a lot of trouble myself," I would be applauding him.

Instead, he said, "Why, the Citizens' Councils were made up of civic leaders, who drove out the Klan! Don't believe those sissy Northerners."

Gov. Barbour has only himself to blame for this mess, and it's not "smearing" to report it when a major GOP politician openly praises one of the most overtly racist organizations of the Jim Crow era.

29 Amory Blaine  Tue, Dec 21, 2010 2:49:19pm

re: #28 Charles

Give me a break.

If Barbour had said something like, "Back in those days we had the Citizens' Councils, and they were up to some pretty bad things, but I didn't really see a lot of trouble myself," I would be applauding him.

Instead, he said, "Why, the Citizens' Councils were made up of civic leaders, who drove out the Klan! Don't believe those sissy Northerners."

Gov. Barbour has only himself to blame for this mess, and it's not "smearing" to report it when a major GOP politician openly praises one of the most overtly racist organizations of the Jim Crow era.

Apparently, to quote a politician is to smear them.

30 pyite  Tue, Dec 21, 2010 4:25:56pm

I think this is part of the whole plan, it is a dog whistle that backfired - but even the backfire part will not cost him many votes.

31 martinsmithy  Tue, Dec 21, 2010 4:50:13pm

The difference between Haley Barbour and a true tea party nut?

Haley Barbour backed down.

It doesn't mean I would vote for him, but I thank him for making the best of a pretty rotten situation he created.


This article has been archived.
Comments are closed.

Jump to top

Create a PageThis is the LGF Pages posting bookmarklet. To use it, drag this button to your browser's bookmark bar, and title it 'LGF Pages' (or whatever you like). Then browse to a site you want to post, select some text on the page to use for a quote, click the bookmarklet, and the Pages posting window will appear with the title, text, and any embedded video or audio files already filled in, ready to go.
Or... you can just click this button to open the Pages posting window right away.
Last updated: 2021-06-05 2:51 pm PDT
LGF User's Guide RSS Feeds Tweet

Help support Little Green Footballs!

Subscribe now for ad-free access!Register and sign in to a free LGF account before subscribing, and your ad-free access will be automatically enabled.

Donate with
PayPal
Cash.app Shop at amazon
as an LGF Associate!
Recent PagesClick to refresh
Naked Capitalism Takedown on Biden’s Speech(0) [Introductory material omitted.] (1) But before we begin, I want to provide an update on our fight against COVID-19 and announce new steps[1]. [1] One would have expected new steps to generate some coverage, or, more precisely, to be ...
Captain Magic
3 days, 18 hours ago
Views: 342 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 2 •
There Is No Such Thing as “Mild” CovidRead this thread. The good news down at the end is that full vaccination does help mitigate long Covid. Nevertheless, you don't want to get a "mild" case of Covid. PSA: COVID-19 isn’t “just a cold,” isn’t “a respiratory virus,” ...
No Malarkey!
1 week, 6 days ago
Views: 989 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 2
Tweets: 26 •