Mr. Barbour is working on the new fake history of the South again, with an interview in the Weekly Standard. He praises the Citizens Council, which used to be called the White Citizens Council, for keeping the peace when his hometown schools integrated:
“You heard of the Citizens Councils? Up north they think it was like the KKK. 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.”
Matt Yglesias breaks down the ACTUAL history of the Citizen’s Council in the South:
The Citizens’ Councils were, right in the state of Mississippi where Barbour is from, the respectable face of white supremacist political activism. Here’s an example from the Association of Citizens’ Councils pamphlet: “Why Does Your Community Need a Citizens’ Council?”
Maybe your community has had no racial problems! This may be true; however, you may not have a fire, yet you maintain a fire department. You can depend on one thing: The NAACP (National Association for the Agitation of Colored People), aided by alien influences, bloc vote seeking politicians and left-wing do-gooders, will see that you have a problem in the near future.
The Citizens’ Council is the South’s answer to the mongrelizers. We will not be integrated. We are proud of our white blood and our white heritage of sixty centuries.
Haley Barbour gives these people credit for keeping things calm!
Yglesias adds this:
In Mississippi in the 1950s and 60s most white people were white supremacists. And within the large and powerful white supremacist community, there was a split between more moderate and more radical factions. The moderates pursued a strategy of economic coercion and the radicals pursued a strategy of violence. There was also a small minority of white proponents of racial equality. In Barbour’s home town of Yazoo City, Mississippi the moderate faction of white supremacists had the upper hand. And Barbour thinks the strength of moderate white supremacists helped create a beneficial political atmosphere in his hometown.
When you have to choose between radical white supremacists and moderate white supremacists, you’re still going to end up with white supremacists (i.e. racists).
Charles Johnson explains “there was a lot of crossover between the CC and the KKK:” (link)
White Citizens’ Council: African Americans who were seen as being too supportive of desegregation, voting rights, or other perceived threats to whites’ supremacy found themselves and their family members unemployed in many instances; whites who supported civil rights for African Americans were not immune from finding this happening to them as well. Members of the Citizens’ Council were sometimes Klansmen, and the more influential the Citizens’ Council member, the more influence he had with the Klan. In fact, the WCC was even referred to during the civil rights era as “an uptown Klan,” “a white collar Klan,” “a button-down Klan,” and “a country club Klan.” The rationale for these nicknames was that it appeared that sheets and hoods had been discarded and replaced by suits and ties. Much like the Klan, WCC members held documented white supremacist views and involved themselves in racist activities. They more often held leadership in civic and political organizations, however, which enabled them to legitimize discriminatory practices aimed at non-whites.
And for your further reading “pleasure” (sarcasm), here’s a link to the archives of the Citizens Council newspaper. This kind of information reminds me why as a “Northerner,” I’ve never romanticized the South (or movies like Gone With The Wind). And even though I know good people live in the South, the term “Deep South” instantly reminds me of Deliverance and the KKK.
Bottom line: People like Haley Barbour just reinforce these connotations for the entire world.