Haley Barbour: Citizens Councils Were “Indefensible”
Well, that didn’t take long:
UPDATE, 12:17 p.m.: Barbour issues a statement cleaning things up and denouncing the Citizens Councils and segregation as “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.”
A retraction was inevitable, of course, but the damage is done. In all honesty, though, Barbour was about the most unlikely person out there to actually have a chance of winning the GOP nomination in 2012 so I’m not sure that this has really hurt him all that much.