I guess this is how Haley Barbour wants to remember the ways of the Old South: black folk attending public schools with whites during the 1950s and 1960s; blacks and whites playing football together at Ole Miss, fighting alongside each other against the injustices of Jim Crow.
Except that’s not exactly what happened below the Mason-Dixon line. Haley Barbour’s attempt at revisionist history is yet another example of how Republicans/conservatives/Tea Party activists are using the ignorance of their supporters to their advantage (here, here and here). It’s almost a slap in the face to the black and white folks who lived during these dark days and can vividly remember their friends and family members taking beatings just to have the same opportunity as Barbour had while growing up in Mississippi.
It’s laughable for Haley Barbour (the same man who defended Va. Governor Bob McDonnell’s omission of slavery from his proclamation of Confederate History Month) to even think anyone wouldn’t fact-check his claims about his generation being “over” segregation and “didn’t think twice” about attending integrated schools. I would love for him to explain what fantasy world he was conjuring up when he made these claims.
Too bad we aren’t living in the George W. Bush-Karl Rove Era when fact-checking and intelligent discourse was frowned upon and equated to one not being a true patriot. There may have been enough people who were drinking the post-9/11, don’t-question-the-government Kool-Aid to believe his erroneous claims.