Governor Haley Barbour of Mississippi tried yesterday to "walk back" his previous comments regarding white citizen's councils in the South. After originally saying that they performed a worthy function, he tried to re-define his comments.
"I am NOT a prejudice person," said Barbour. I have had coloreds as friends since I was a little child and our maid brought her son to work one day. I remember how we played Master and Slave and the nappy headed little guy did everything I ordered him to do. I loved how he said .yes suh, and followed me around. I don't remember his name but my Momma would give us lunch. He ate on plates Momma reserved for the Coloreds, but he didn't notice the difference I'm sure.
Barbour smiled benignly and continued, "I have always treated all men as equals. Our hardware store in Yazoo was owned by a Jew Boy named Hymie, or something like that, and I even tried to get him into the YMCA. And, one time, we even had a Catholic stay in town overnight. Reverend Bob was furious, said the whole town was going to hell!
It was a wonderful time in the south back then and I can remember the coloreds singing at night from their shacks behind the cotton fields. They were a joyful people, happy in their work."
Barbour picked up his papers and concluded: "Excuse me now; I have to prepare my major speech on race for next week. I'll be giving it in Yazoo City, gonna pick up a few coloreds to stand behind me, you know, for the TV." He turned to leave and spoke to an aide, "Jamal, don't forget to bring the hand sanitizer."