There was the South….and then, there’s Mississippi.
And, Haley Barbour can’t run away from that.
I know that Jill wrote about this yesterday, but IMO, we can’t talk ENOUGH about this.
Gov. Haley Barbour (R-MS), a potential Republican presidential candidate, has an interesting perspective on the tumults of the civil rights era that swept through his Deep South state.
As Barbour recalls it in a new profile in The Weekly Standard, things weren’t so bad in his hometown of Yazoo City, which took until 1970 to integrate its schools (though the final event itself is said to have gone on peacefully). For example, Barbour says that there was no problem of Ku Klux Klan activity in the town — thanks to the Citizens Council movement, an organization that was founded on the basis of resistance to integration and the promotion of white supremacy.
“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.”
You know, this should just be under the heading..
THEY ARE WHO WE THOUGHT THEY WERE.
I know a whole lot about the state of Mississippi. From the time I was born until I was 18, I went to Mississippi 4 times a year. After that, twice a year until Mama died. I’ve been to the Delta. I’ve been to the Gulfcoast. I’ve been to the East. Been to the West. Been to Jackson, Vicksburg, Hattiesburg, Yazoo City, Oxford.
And, I’m here to tell you, IMO, when folks talk about the ‘ New South’, they sure in hell aren’t talking about Mississippi.
I posted a few months ago about how Boss Hogg Barbour was attempting to whitewash his past, first with some unbelievable remembrances of his time at Ole Miss. Of course, folks tracked down one of the lone Black students during that time period, and she told THE TRUTH OF THE HELL THAT SHE WENT THROUGH.
Let’s not mince words here:
Haley Barbour is a RACIST. Plain and simple. No holds barred.
Oh, you can put him in a suit, but, I’ve been Black in America longer than 3 days.
He’s had no ‘ come to Jesus’ moment about growing up during American Apartheid and the evil that it was for the Black citizens of the South. Not one frigging moment of self-awareness.
Instead, we have these repeated attempts by him to whitewash – LITERALLY – the hell that was the South during that time, and Mississippi in particular.
When they talk about ‘ taking their country back’, they want it back to a time where, quite frankly,
‘ NIGGERS KNEW THEIR PLACE.’
Hell, Barbour’s own BROTHER Bemoaned Blacks ‘Not Listenin’ To White People Like They Used To’
“Maybe five years ago,” he said, “you could’ve appointed a colored man yourself. Now you simply can’t get away with it. They’re goin’ to have to pick their own leaders. You could’ve gotten on radio five years ago using these very words, ‘George Collins is this ni**er we’ve appointed,’ and could’ve gotten away with it. I guess they’re just goin’ through a state of being rebellious and hard-nosed and not listenin’ to white people like they used to.”
The town has seventeen policeman in all, which struck me as a substantial force for a town of 14,000, and Mace is standard equipment; the policemen carry it on their belts. “You get a drunk,” Jeppie says; “you either get him to come with you or you have to manhandle him. You give him Mace and he’ll want to go anywhere with you. It keeps that ni**er’s head in good shape.”
Discipline has likewise been a problem with “the little ni**ers around town. One seven-year-old stole a pistol, but the chief has his own homemade juvenile delinquency kit. He has a belt that’s bigger than a Sam Browne belt, and he calls the parents and gets them to come down and take the kid into the basement and use the belt.”
Martin Luther King was the most hated man because he showed them for what they were to the ENTIRE WORLD, and when that mirror was put up to them, it showed them in all their ugliness. How dare this Negro say that American Apartheid was wrong and should end. White folks like Haley Barbour and his ilk didn’t think anything was wrong with life in Mississippi during that time.
The reason why Barbour and his media apologists must be pushed back against, and not allowed
UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES
to do his whitewash of American Apartheid.
Is because our ancestors who suffered under it, must NOT be forgotten.
The threat of physical violence that they lived under 24/7/365.
Not for one year. or two. or three.
But nearly 100 years post-the ending of Official Slavery in the United States.
The GENERATIONS that were made to live in literal hell.
See, there’s a problem when you try to whitewash Mississippi during Jim Crow…
WAYYYYYY too many of us “Negroes” or is it “Coloreds” are still alive….oh, some of us weren’t around during that time, but we have parents, grandparents, aunt, uncles, church elders who told us enough stories….and here’s the bottom line…
And, no, we’re not going to go along with you trying to make it sound better than the hell it was.
The Citizens Council was just the Klan in business suits.
Don’t believe me?
The White Citizens Council at the forefront of integration according to Barbour.
The truth is The Citizens Councils were founded in Mississippi in 1954, in protest of the Brown v. Board of Education decision that declared public school segregation to be unconstitutional. The councils were dedicated to political activities opposing civil rights, notably boycotts of pro-civil rights individuals — including a famous instance by the group in Barbour’s town. It was distinguished from the Klan by the public self-identification of its members, and its image of suits and ties as opposed to white robes and nooses.
Like I said…the KLAN IN A SUIT.
Coates has written a couple of good posts on this.
In part, I think, that’s because with a mere click of the mouse you can discover what actual Confederates were saying:
The declaration of secession from Mississippi
Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery– the greatest material interest of the world. Its labor supplies the product which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions of commerce of the earth. These products are peculiar to the climate verging on the tropical regions, and by an imperious law of nature, none but the black race can bear exposure to the tropical sun. These products have become necessities of the world, and a blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization. That blow has been long aimed at the institution, and was at the point of reaching its consummation. There was no choice left us but submission to the mandates of abolition, or a dissolution of the Union, whose principles had been subverted to work out our ruin.
That’s the declaration of secession from Haley Barbour’s home state. He still proudly displays the flag of that cause, the same flag that authored the death of more American soldiers than Vietnam, World War I and World War II combined, the death of Lincoln, and the deaths of countless freedmen and descendants of freedman. In short, Barbour embraces the flag of America’s most prodigious white supremacists, and foremost home-grown terrorists. Of all the United States, Mississippi has the highest percentage of African-Americans. Haley Barbour, evidently, knows very little of their history. Indeed, there may not be a governor more ignorant of his constituents in all this great land.
The blogger Cynic’s conclusion in one of them:
If Barbour wants to praise the good people of Yazoo City for their extraordinary restraint in not employing violence as they hounded from their community those black parents brave enough to demand a decent education for their children; to laud their public disavowal of the local Klan even as they turned a blind eye to its activities; or to extol their grudging cession of the inevitability of court-ordered integration after fifteen years of stalling, for its absence of lynchings or riots, that’s his prerogative. For the rest of us, though, Yazoo City should serve as a poignant reminder that the civil rights struggle really was “that bad.”
Yes, it was THAT BAD..
And Barbour and his media apologists don’t get to run away from that.
Rachel Maddow points out Boss Hogg and his attempted whitewash of the Citizens Council.
Rev. Al wasn’t having it.
Barbour and his ilk want to be seen better than who they were AND ARE.
The answer to that is not only NO, but HELL NO.
Town has the answer for Barbour:
Somebody needs to have a voiceover of Barbour saying “It wasn’t that bad” over images of hoses and dogs on people, COLOREDS ONLY signs, the John Lewis beatdown, Rosa Parks, National Guard at people’s universities, etc.
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