Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Obligatory Haley Barbour Racial Revisionism Racism Post

I doubt this is the kind of attention the folks at Weekly Standard had in mind. But readers should at least visit the scene of the alleged crime: "The Boy from Yazoo City." Folks might get a kick out this passage, for example:
What role Yazoo City’s segregationist past might play in Barbour’s presidential campaign is hard to say. It could become an issue, particularly for Washington political reporters who enjoy moralizing about race and public education while sending their own children to progressive schools like Sidwell Friends and St. Albans, where applicants of color are discreetly screened and their numbers carefully regulated.

(The Obamas
send their girls to Sidwell, but progressives are hypocrites like that.)

Reading the whole thing provides the context. Governor Barbour grew up in a time of changing racial norms and in his experience of segregation in the South wasn't "all that bad." But such thoughts are verboten nowadays, remember? And faster than you can say "post-racial America," the progressive left — the kind of folks who don't think twice about getting their kids out of crime-ridden, dilapidated inner city schools — have launched a campaign of racist allegations against Barbour. Of course, cries of racism are
all that progressives have left — something conservatives have pointed out repeatedly during the Obama interregnum. But with the 2012 pre-primary season picking up, we should be preparing for a bumper crop of left-wing racist allegations.

Now, I'm not sure, but it looks like the Barbour smear got going at Talking Points Memo, for example, "
Barbour Praises Civil Rights-Era White Supremacist Citizens Councils." The lead accuser investigator there, Eric Kleefeld, contacted the governor's office and got a statement (which of course lends credibility to the allegations): "Barbour Spokesman: Mississippi Gov. Is Not Racist." And Kleefield follows up with some additional research: "Flashback: Citizens Councils Touted 'Racial Integrity,' 'Christian Love and Segregation'."

Daily Kos the meme was that Barbour's statements were revisionist:
Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour has a strategy for beating Sarah Palin to the teabaggers' support in the 2012 primaries. Digby calls it his "Southern Strategy," consisting of a the dogwhistle message that "racism in America was always overblown with the implication being that those who complain about it have always been whiners."
And at Hufffington Post, former George Soros protégé Amanda Terkel chimed in with how Haley's account was at odds with the professional left's academic establishment and racial grievance organizations: "Haley Barbour's Account of Civil Rights Era in Mississippi Assailed By NAACP, Historians."

Then of course we've had current Soros tool
Matthew Yglesias holding forth non stop, and he's got a piece headlining right now at Memeorandum: "Haley Barbour's Affection for the White Supremacist Citizens' Council." And notice this follow-up piece from Yglesias: "Barbour Has a History of Citizens’ Council Trouble."

So, as you can see, the left's meme has gone from situating Barbour's personal recollections as an attempt at GOP racial revisionism to a full frontal attack on the governor as a Klan-style white supremacist. Michelle Goldberg provides the flourishing touch, at The Daily Beast, "
Is Haley Barbour a Racist?":


Haley Barbour, the governor of Mississippi, chairman of the Republican Governors Association, and likely presidential candidate, has fond memories of his native Yazoo County during the days of Jim Crow. “I just don’t remember it as being that bad,” he says in a Weekly Standard piece this week. He praises the Citizens Councils—“an organization of town leaders”—for keeping the peace and keeping out the KKK. Writer Andrew Ferguson takes Barbour at his word, arguing that if Barbour’s segregationist roots become an issue in his presidential campaign, it will be because of “Washington political reporters who enjoy moralizing about race and public education while sending their own children to progressive schools like Sidwell Friends and St. Albans.”

The piece is an exquisite example of the conservative racial two-step: a blatant expression of racism, followed by aggrieved wailing at the mere thought of being called a racist. It proves that Barbour is either dishonest or so blindly ignorant that one can scarcely imagine how he’s managed a successful political career.
Hold on.

All Barbour said was "I just don’t remember it as being that bad."

That's racist? Hardly, but anything involving old-school private social organizations in the South is a potential mother load for the progressives. We'll see how this plays out thoughout the day. Meanwhile, at the Seattle Times, "
Civil-rights days not so bad, recalls Mississippi governor," and New York Times, "Discussing Civil Rights Era, a Governor Is Criticized."

RELATED: "Doing a ‘Macaca’ on Haley Barbour."


Dennis said...

I would have to agree with Barbour. I don't remember it being a bad time. Unlike in the movies most of the people I knew never said anything about Blacks or even thought about them. Most of us did not run with the toughs so our frame of reference is difference. We were living life as young people who lived in our own little world unencumbered with the ills of the world.
Those of us who did spend some time in northern schools did notice the animosity between Whites and Blacks which we found strange. Also no one seemed to have the slightest semblance of manners or respect for others.
It was only when I went into the military that I had any real contact with minorities. Since my life did not contain a lot of information about them I found them just like me so many of my compatriots were minorities and some became my mentors.
I would posit that one of the reasons you see many Blacks moving South is that racism is no where near the problem it was and still is in what is euphemistically called "Blue states." Which leads me to believe that racism exist on the Left in far greater numbers and examples than anywhere else. Most of this is covered up by "throwing rocks" at others in order to hide that racism. How anyone can look at New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, et al and not see the oozing sore of racism is beyond logic.
One can almost denote who the racist is by the first one to cry racism. It is like the first one who says, What is that smell?" It is almost always that person who is responsible for it. Much of this is a facade built to cover the inherent racism, sexist, et al of the Left. When one obsesses this much about something then one is either hiding or is insecure about themselves.

Ron said...

Hi. I like your blog. Three things.

1.) It might not have been bad for Barbour or your commenter or yourself, but in 1964 (when Barbour was 19 and should have known better) three civil rights workers were murdered in Mississippi. It might be worth asking the question that if Barbour is such a staunch foe of racism why wasn't he riding with the Freedom Riders and protesting with civil rights groups instead of campaigning for Richard Nixon, who actively courted the votes of Southern racists.

2.) I've seen this type of article so many times before. Democrats accuse white Republicans of racism because they don't have substantive policies with which to bring forward. Really? Health care, reducing U.S. troop levels in Iraq, gay rights legislation, etc. Seems like progressives have lots of good ideas.

I'm interested in your thoughts. Thanks!

Stogie said...

Donald, you are so correct: racism is the perennial leftist smear, the only thing they have left. Eventually, like the boy who cried wolf once too many times, the public will tune it out.