Barbour to seek funding for civil rights museum
March 31st, 2011
02:56 PM ET
12 years ago

Barbour to seek funding for civil rights museum

(CNN) – Likely presidential candidate Haley Barbour, the Mississippi governor who has faced charges of racial insensitivity in recent months, said Thursday he will seek funding from the Mississippi legislature for a civil rights museum in the state.

In a statement issued Thursday, Barbour said he will formally ask for funding for two museums – one focusing on Mississippi's history and the other on civil rights – when the legislature returns to complete the budget. Barbour first proposed the museums in 2006.

"These museums will enhance Mississippi's image and play a critical role in education and tourism," the Republican governor said in a statement.

Barbour has pushed for a civil rights museum since late January, predicting then that "People from around the world would flock to see the museum and learn about the movement."

Barbour has found himself in the middle of several controversies regarding race in the last several months, beginning in December when he told the Weekly Standard magazine that he didn't remember segregation-era Mississippi "being that bad."

In February, the governor again faced heat when he refused to condemn the Mississippi chapter of the Sons of Confederate Veterans after the group proposed a state-sponsored license plate honoring Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest, who became an early leader of the Ku Klux Klan. Barbour however later said he would not sign the bill approving funding for the project.

He also faced fire from the state chapter of the NAACP earlier this month over the issue of redistricting, having endorsed a plan that the civil rights group alleges diminishes the influence of African-American voters in "an attempt to hijack the election process so Republicans can take over the House."

Filed under: Haley Barbour
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. V in Chicago

    Of course he will. He'll take all the cash he can get his greedy, bigoted hands on. Of course, there will be a rebel flag flown outside the museum, but hey, at least he can say he did his part to bring the country together.

    March 31, 2011 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  2. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Haley won't be able to carry his own state in the republican primary if he keeps angering his base. While most Americans feel that yogurt has more culture than Mississippi, imagine the rise in intellect by suddenly having two museums.

    March 31, 2011 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  3. PapaKyle

    Maybe he can start with the restoration of the now rotting grocery store in Money, Mississippi, where Emmitt Till met his brutal demise as the civil rights museum.

    March 31, 2011 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  4. Laverne

    So fake, so phony! He is doing what John McCain did back in the late 80's when he did not want anything to do with MLK Holiday and then when he ran for president, he all of a sudden had a change of mind. It won't work, everybody knows Haley Barbour is as close to the KKK as you can get and this little ploy of his to act concerned about anything to do with civil rights is a joke. Remember this is the same guy who said "there was no real race problem in Mississippi all those years ago" I wish he would just take his sheet and go away!

    March 31, 2011 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  5. CBR

    Why is Governor Barbour proposing this Museum now? There is a great need for a place of learning about segregation and the Civil Rights movement. There needs to be a place where people can go to get info about the movement. This type of program needs to be in Washington DC since no Southerner state is the repository facts and info.

    Somehow I am really not sure of the Governor's reason for putting this in Mississippi except he is thinking that Mississippi was the last state to accept Civil Rights.

    March 31, 2011 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  6. once upon a horse

    LOL trying to kiss up to Black folks now Haley?? Sorry won't work. You need to be explaining moreso to the poor folks of Mississippi why they have to pay for your plane rides to C-Pac and FoxNews.

    March 31, 2011 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    Wow. Could these jackholes be more obvious? I mean, seriously...this is almost as insulting as if he got up and said he's not racist with the whole "nuh uh, I have a black friend" nonsense. Give it up, Boss're not going to be president...EVER.


    March 31, 2011 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  8. Rudy NYC

    Why does this sound disingenious? What are the chances that something like this, however noble, will get funding in today's economic climate. It's a good idea to push. No chance of it actually coming to pass anytime soon.

    March 31, 2011 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  9. bill

    two museums, separate but equal. Nice move, trying to make yourself suddenly look racially sensitive but you still can't get it right.

    March 31, 2011 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  10. ABM

    While the gesture is appreciated we all know why he is doing this NOW.

    March 31, 2011 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    The image "enhancement" needed by "In the Bottom Five of almost everything" Mississippi"is far beyond the abilities of Mr. Lobbyist Good Ole Boy Barbour.

    March 31, 2011 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  12. lforlegend

    Your headline is misleading!! Watch this guy, there's something up his sleeve. Funding for 2 museums. Watch him, as the funding will unequal!!

    March 31, 2011 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  13. felicia

    I don't understand why it's okay to spend money when they need it. Why don't he get the businesses together in Mississippi to come up with some money for their museum. We are broke remember. You want visitors to visit your town, then sponsor it dummy. These people are a joke. They voted for the Libya crisis and can't remember. Don't understand how a bill becomes a law. What's next . America doesn't need any help from the Republicans to make a fool out of us anymore. Bush already did that. Pick something else to do please. And stay away from my uterus thank you.

    March 31, 2011 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  14. Republicans Are The American Taliban

    Isn't the entire Republican dogma that you should not expect the taxpayers to fund something like this, but rather to seek private donations? I see....unless it's in YOUR district...

    March 31, 2011 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  15. ConservaFascists/FUBAR

    What's the purpose of having a museum when most of you southern governors try to rewrite history. I don't care if Six Flags built a theme park in Mississippi. I won't waste my hard earned money in Klan country.

    March 31, 2011 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  16. ConservaFascists/FUBAR

    Hopefully, the museum is FACTUAL. If it is, the first person to attend is Michelle Bachmann. She needs to be locked in the museum until FACTS are nullified in her skull. That woman is as dumb as a box of rocks.

    March 31, 2011 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  17. payback

    STOP, PLEASE STOP. Trying to kiss-up. Where, were your civil rights intentions fifty-years ago......This black person will never, ever vote for you. I know, that there are some delusional, black people, that will vote for you. NOT ME.

    March 31, 2011 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  18. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Too little too many years late Mr. Barbour. Mississippi doesn't need a museum, they need jobs and a new Governor, forget about being President.

    March 31, 2011 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  19. Lynda/Minnesota

    Apparently Barbor thinks ALL of America is as backwards as so many Mississippians are not to see through him and his nonsense.

    March 31, 2011 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  20. Pretzel Logic

    So now he wants to use tax payer dollars to make himself look sympathetic to minorities when he's had an entire career that proves otherwise? They are the poorest state in the Union. How is this "fiscally responsible"?

    March 31, 2011 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  21. OneMoreTime

    So, he wants to segregate civil rights from Mississippi history with two museums. Isn't the civil rights movement a
    part of their history? Glad they can afford two museums in this economy, particularly when you consider the
    great shape Mississippi is in. Why is his nose so red?

    March 31, 2011 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |