In the latest racially charged incident in his home state, Haley Barbour on Tuesday drew fire when he refused to condemn a proposal honoring a Ku Klux Klan leader and Confederate general on a state license plate.
“I don’t go around denouncing people. That’s not going to happen,” Barbour, who is considering a run for the White House in 2012, said when asked about the plate, the Associated Press reported. “I know there’s not a chance it’ll become law.”
In case you hadn’t heard, the Sons of Confederate Veterans, a pretty nasty group of bigots, are behind this proposal to lionize Nathan Bedford Forrest, a slave trader, the first Grand Wizard of the KKK — and a vicious domestic terrorist.
Needless to say, Forrest is a pretty easy guy to denounce. This was a political gift, in a way, to Barbour.
I mean, a white Southern Republican like Barbour could get himself into some trouble for denouncing, say, Robert E. Lee. But Forrest? Is Barbour really that worried about losing the white supremacist vote?
Are there really that many Republican voters in Mississippi who are KKK fans? Seriously?
Because clearly, Barbour is not a guy who has a problem denouncing people he doesn’t like.