Haley the Barbourian and the Invisible Empire

UPDATE: Breaking

Miss. Confederate History Month ignores slavery —  JACKSON, Miss. – Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour drew criticism for proclaiming April as Confederate Heritage Month without mentioning slavery, the second governor this month to come under fire for the omission…

UPDATE: And see Yglesias on this.

h/t to magii, who gave me the tip that started this posting

NOT a story by Robert E. Howard, unfortunately, but a real live narrative that came to light yesterday when Haley Barbour, Governor of Mississippi, former Chair of the RNC and former constituent of Sen. Trent Lott, (R, Miss.) decided to trivialize the national outrage over Virginia Governor Johnny T. Secesh’s proclamation of “Confederate History Month” minus any reference to slavery.

Haley Barbour’s comment was [emphasis added]:

“To me, it’s a sort of feeling that it’s a nit, that it is not significant, that it’s not a – it’s trying to make a big deal out of something (that) doesn’t amount to diddly,” Barbour said in the interview aired on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Well, if you get inside Haley Barbour’s head about what “doesn’t mean diddly” you can understand why he might feel that way. On the other hand, if  you obtain that understanding, you can also understand why Barbour represents the worst — and ruling — passions of the current KKK, er … CCC … er, GOP/Tea Party.

Citizens Against Hate posted this quietly damning piece in 2004 [emphasis added]:

Governor of Mississippi, Haley Barbour – spoke before a Council [of Conservative Citizens]-sponsored political rally last year and was photographed with Council leaders. He later claimed that he knew nothing about the Council of Conservative Citizens. We really find that hard to believe since he was the Republican National Committee Chairman when Trent Lott was embroiled in the controversy over the group. According to his biography:

Haley is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer and founder of Barbour Griffith & Rogers, which Fortune magazine named the top lobbying firm in the United States.

Haley served as an advisor to President Ronald Reagan for two years as Director of the White House Office of Political Affairs.

Haley served two terms as Chairman of the Republican National Committee.

In 2000 Haley chaired the Bush for President Campaign Advisory Committee in Washington, D.C. He was one of ten members of Governor Bush’s National Presidential Exploratory Committee in 1999.

We agree with Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center who is quoted as saying, “It’s almost impossible for a politician and particularly a Republican to not know about the Council of Conservative Citizens scandal because of what the head of their own party said. I can’t say what’s in each of these politicians’ heads, but I think some politicians are simply pandering to white supremacists for political support.”

Obviously, Governor Haley Barbour knew better. Obviously, Governor Haley Barbour has the contacts and the clout to make a major impact on the current governmental officials.

And, of course, what is spooky in all of this is the continual refrain — laughable at best, monstrous at worst — of  “I didn’t know.”

Contemporaneous parody poster

I suppose they didn’t know that was ALSO the excuse that “good Germans” universally made about the concentration camps in their midst.

From the 2004 Citizens Against Hate article:

Mississippi State Supreme Court Justice, Kay Cobb – she attended the same rally as Barbour and introduced council leader Virginia Abernethy. When she came under fire, she too claimed to be ignorant of the Council’s agenda…


Tommy Woods, State Representative for Mississippi. According to an October 14, 2004, article in the Clarion Ledger, written by Jerry Mithcell, Woods said he’s been a member of the council for the past several years. He said he joined because he opposes abortion and other liberal ideas. He went on to say, “We’re just really dedicated to preserving our Constitution and our American way of life. I know there’s a lot of folks that don’t agree with me. I don’t think we ought to just let anybody come into the U.S.” …


United States Representative from Mississippi, Roger Wicker – Wicker has been in attendance at meetings of the West Tennessee and Marshall County Chapters of the CofCC. He refused to comment on his reasons to both the Clarion Ledger and the Southern Poverty Law Center. …


Jesse Helms, Long time Republican Senator from North Carolina … Robert Scheer of the Los Angeles Times wrote a scathing article on Helms in which he stated, “It was Sen. Helms (R-N.C.) who derided the 1964 Civil Rights Act as the single most dangerous piece of legislation ever introduced in the Congress” and later opposed a national holiday for that “pervert” Martin Luther King Jr. And it was Helms who, while millions throughout the world faced death from AIDS, sought to block funding for medical research on that dread disease to punish the “revolting conduct” and “unnatural acts” of gays.” … Jesse Helms was on the advisory board of the Council of Conservative Citizens

There’s more. You take my point.

Now, given the KKK, er … CCC’s long paper trail, and its obvious internal rhetoric, any politician attending their meetings and NOT knowing of its virulently racist/White supremacist agenda shouldn’t be venturing out the coma ward without a full medical staff in attendance.

h/t dengre; see it at Balloon Juice

“I didn’t know,” however, was Barbour’s “excuse.” It is not much believed.

It wasn’t much believed THEN, either. But, if you will recall*, Trent Lott made that SAME claim after being caught making multiple speaking appearances before the KKK, er … CCC. And Bob Barr made exactly the same excuse after being caught making the KEYNOTE ADDRESS at the national KKK, er … CCC convention in 1998.

[* NOTE: For more information on Lott, Barr and the KKK, er … CCC, see “The Invisible Empire”10 April.]

The Barbourian and the Barbarian

Of course Haley Barbour was only RNC Chair from 1993 to 1997, so perhaps he was out of the loop. (Yeah, right.) And, of course, NOW he’s the Chair of the Republican Governor’s Association. Wikipedia:

After two decades in Washington, D.C., Barbour announced in 2003 his intention to run for governor of Mississippi. On August 5, 2003, he won the Republican gubernatorial primary over Canton trial attorney Mitch Tyner. Barbour’s campaign manager was his nephew Henry Barbour.

During the campaign a controversy arose when Barbour chose to speak at the Blackhawk Rally, a fundraiser for the Blackhawk “council school” in Blackhawk, Mississippi. Such “council schools”, also referred to in Mississippi lexicon as “academies”, were established by the White Citizens’ Council movement in reaction to the demands for racial integration by the American Civil Rights movement. The Blackhawk rally was hosted by the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC). A photograph of Barbour with CCC members appeared on the CCC webpage, and some commentators and pundits demanded that Barbour ask for his picture to be removed from the site, but Barbour refused.

Again, this didn’t mean “diddly” in Mississippi because:

Barbour’s Democratic opponent, Governor Musgrove, declined to be critical, stating that he had also attended Blackhawk rallies in the past, and would have done so that year except for a scheduling conflict.

Haley the Barbourian

What’s really interesting to see in that archived webpage is this link on the same page:

No, not Michael Steele (although think how much fun THAT would be). Edgar J. Steele, wackjob extraordinaire. Here’s a taste from the “overview”:

In truth, “racist” is just as quickly applied to many who seek simple equality with others, most notably outspoken white people in America these days. In fact, there are those who argue, with a straight face, that only white people are capable of being racist.  Thus, the term has lost much of its currency, together with its legitimacy.

Racist has become like “antisemite;” applied with a broad brush to swaths of humanity, usually those simply disliked by jews for any reason, who have co-opted the term “semite” for themselves, just as they previously co-opted the word “jew.”

Interestingly, often the very same people quick to accuse one of antisemitism are the very ones who label others racist, too.

Accusation, conviction and sentence, all in a single word:  racist.  There is no defense.  Those who bluster about how they are not racists merely become more tightly embraced by that particular tar baby.

However, just as I previously have written credibly in support of antisemitism ( In Defense of Anti-Semitism), so, too, is racism susceptible of being defended.

Which links to a multi-part essay on the inferiority of Blacks and other races and represents White Supremacy in its most virulent form.

And here are some more links from that page that Haley Barbour, Republican Gubernatorial candidate had no trouble with:

A resolution by the national CCC in defense of Judge Roy Moore’s “Ten Commandments” kerfuffle that begins:

WHEREAS, Our constitutional system is threatened by a reign of judicial tyranny; and

Which contains this quote, eerily reminiscent of the summer town halls over Health Care. The controversy was the Rebel battle flag on the Georgia state flag, adopted in 1956:

So, I like the idea of violating their comfort zones. Why not? They don’t mind violating ours. They ask us to vote for them and then violate our comfort zones every time they raise our taxes, create a new black holiday, throw out one of ours, banish a state flag, drag in more Third Worlders, prate about diversity being our strength, and tell the media that everything the Southern white man holds dear is offensive to the so-called minorities whose votes they covet.

I like to contemplate the image of one of these scoundrels driving out of his driveway each morning to find some negative attention brought to his doorstep by a group of Georgia flaggers who wave the State Flag in his face, meting out well-earned retribution for his role in trying to abolish it.

I like to contemplate the image of a politician who, having just delivered some campaign speech from a flatbed truck, descends into a sea of Georgia flags, peppered with catcalls and threats of payback at the next election…

Gee, that “violating their comfort zone” because of creating “black holidays” seems like something that Haley Barbour sure didn’t mind being associated with. Am I being unfair? You tell me.

Here’s another couple of things from that KKK, er … CCC page Haley Barbour doesn’t have a problem with, by explicitly assenting via positive silence:

The last of which links to this KKK, er … CCC article:

Death by Aliens
Submitted by Earl Holt

If you travel into the Third World, in places such as Mexico and Central and South America you will notice that in the bathrooms there are boxes for used toilet paper, and no soap or paper towels for the sink. The sewage systems cannot handle toilet paper so it is a habit to throw it in the box provided, which is open to flies and cockroaches.

Additionally, for most Third World people, washing hands is nonexistent. [emphasis added]

Today, in California, Florida, Georgia, and spreading to other states across the nation, recent arrivals are so accustomed to throwing their used toilet paper into boxes, they throw it into trashcans. Whether they work at the counter or chopping tomatoes, they often do not wash their hands.

Thousands carry head lice, leprosy, tuberculosis and hepatitis A, B, and C. [emphasis in original]


Perhaps it’s not surprising that a Mississippi politician would be utterly comfortable with the “code” for virulent racism, secessionism and segregationism, still practiced in Southern ‘private’ schools. (You know, like ‘secret’ proms for ‘acceptable’ students.)

What is surprising is that someone like Barbour would continually be in national Republican leadership positions. It is a stain on the GOP that can never be fully cleansed or explained.

One more little thing about Governor Barbour:

After Katrina, the “beloved” mansion of Jefferson Davis, president of the treasonous uprising that left over 600,000 Americans dead (and countless more of its effects, uncounted) was severely damaged. And guess who was there, to support and promote its rehabilitation?

Take a gander:

Official Restoration of Beauvoir House Ceremony May 2007

Left to Right; Bert Hayes-Davis – Board of Directors and Great, Great, Grandson of President Jefferson Davis; Haley Barbour – Governor of Mississippi; Richard V. Forte Sr. – Chairman of the Board.

Who could have imagined that the second Republican governor since Reconstruction and the former two-term Chair of Lincoln’s “Black Republicans” would be there as a featured guest speaker at the rededication of the Jefferson Davis house and “Presidential Library”?

Ground Breaking Ceremony Photo – May 3, 2007

A nation with no sense of historical irony barely noticed.

And here, just to make the point perfectly clear:

“Rick Forte introduces special guests” Barbour
is at the extreme right — appropriately.

Rick Forte is deeply tied into SCV, the League of the South,  the neosecessionists, etc. seemingly. Take a look here.

Oh, and a groundbreaking ceremony was held for the Jefferson Davis Presidential Library on December 6, 2009. Evidently Haley Barbour had other White Supremacist business elsewhere. You’ll be happy to know that you’re footing the bill to this monument to treason. According to the Associated Press:

JACKSON, Miss. — Bertram Hayes-Davis says the $10.5 million project to rebuild the Jefferson Davis Presidential Library and Museum is another opportunity to show his great, great grandfather’s legacy shouldn’t be limited to a fight to preserve slavery…

Funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and its state counterpart will pay 90 percent of the nearly $10.5 million project because the site is a national historic landmark, said Beauvoir Director Rick Forte.

Forte said other funding would come from money the museum had before the storm and insurance. The reconstruction is scheduled to be completed in August 2011. The 51-acre Beauvoir site is owned by the Mississippi Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

Isn’t that just secessial? Er, special?

When informed that Jefferson Davis led an armed rebellion against the legitimately elected government of the United States that left more Americans dead than in all our other wars COMBINED, his undoubted response was that he did not know about THAT, either.

And besides, it didn’t mean diddly.

Gosh danged nitpickers.



Today in history April 13:

Take a look at that last event. This is the “Heritage” that they don’t much talk about.

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About Hart Williams

Mr. Williams grew up in Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas and New Mexico. He lived in Hollywood, California for many years. He has been published in The Washington Post, The Kansas City Star, The Santa Fe Sun, The Los Angeles Free Press, Oui Magazine, New West, and many, many more. A published novelist and a filmed screenwriter, Mr. Williams eschews the decadence of Hollywood for the simple, wholesome goodness of the plain, honest people of the land. He enjoys Luis Buñuel documentaries immensely.
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2 Responses to Haley the Barbourian and the Invisible Empire

  1. majii says:

    I found your post through Crooks & Liars, Mr. Williams, and I must say yet again, that you’ve done an excellent job shining light onto the underbellies of these public officials to show that they will say anything to get the votes needed to get into office while hiding their real motives. Please continue making this valuable contribution to democracy. I think that the reason why McDonnell and Cuccinelli won in Virginia was also because they ran as moderates. Now that they hold the reins of power in VA, their true colors are coming through to the detriment of the citizens of the state. Thanks.

  2. Thanks, majii. It’s comments like yours that keep me going.

    And the story keeps getting stranger:

    Haley Barbour proclaimed “Confederate Heritage Month’ himself before saying it didn’t mean ‘diddly’ that the VA gov hadn’t mentioned slavery. Then it turns out that the Barbourian didn’t EITHER, except AP had to get the proclamation faxed from the SCV’s national chaplain. The gov’s office wouldn’t send a copy, and now it turns out that the proclamation seems to have been SECRET.

    Weird. Rilly rilly rilly weird. Sunlight foundation first noticed that you CAN’T find it on Gov. Barbour’s official website. I’ve confirmed it this afternoon.