Haley Barbour, Creeping Resurgent Southern Racism And . . . Thor?

Talking Points Memo shines a light on Haley Barbour’s revisionism re the White Ciitizens Council. His observations come at the end of a three page Weekly Standard profile. Most sites are commenting on Barbour’s flippant reminiscence that he went a Martin Luther King rally but was more interested in checking out girls. TPM is right to underscore Barbour’s revisionist mainstreaming of the White Citizens Council as the important part, noting:

The White Citizens Council movement was founded in Mississippi in 1954, shortly after the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision that outlawed segregated public schools, and was dedicated to political activities opposing civil rights — notably boycotts of pro-civil rights individuals in Barbour’s hometown, as opposed to Barbour’s recollection of actions against the Klan. It was distinguished from the Klan by the public self-identification of its members, and its image of suits and ties as opposed to white robes and nooses.

In 1998, American Conservative Union head David Keene barred the Citizens Council’s modern incarnation, the Council of Conservative Citizens, from the annual CPAC conference: “we kicked [them] out of CPAC because they are racists.”

The above Council of Conservative Citizens is still an active Movement culture warrior today. Barbour’s soft shoe misrepresentations echo broad political infiltration. For example, the White Citizens Council/Council of Conservative Citizens actively is calling for political pressure against Marvel Studios. Marvel’s offense? Their latest superhero franchise, Thor,casts British non-caucasian actor Idris Elba as Heimdal in the Norse mythology. (It you’re asking ‘Heimdal?’ you’re not alone).

The Council for Concerned Citizens, a legitimate hate group based in St. Louis, takes offense at Marvel’s choice to employ color-blind casting when filling the role of Heimdall, the sentry of Asgard. A post on their website states:

“It’s not enough that Marvel attacks conservatives values, now mythological Gods must be re-invented with black skin. … It seems that Marvel Studios believes that white people should have nothing that is unique to themselves.”

2 weeks shy of 2011, folks. They’re not even canny enough to realize the film likely will be just bad. (Elba comments on the attacks here). Unspoken but the 800 lb. elephant (as it were) is that the Nordic mythos is part of the Ur identity for certain historical views of racial purity, per Wagner, etc. Perhaps Obama can invite Elba and the Council of Conservative Citizens for a Skip Gates-type beer.


We’ve all seen the blossoming confederate rehabilitation meme — a previously fringe, furtive market nurtured and supported successfully by counter factual fiction writers for years. How confident they are now to act in brazen openness, seeking provocation. Such confidence is not without reason. Latest talk about amending the constitution to permit state nullification of federal law is part of the tapestry. The Great Recession’s shifting demographics from the coasts and Northeast to the South, particularly Texas, will have real world political consequences. On the immediate level simple re-apportionment of the balance of representatives in the House. Astute commentators already focus on how Republican control of legislatures and governorships can leverage that into lasting political presence.

We’re not among those bestowing Herbert Walker’s ‘Big Mo’ on the Obama White House this lame duck. We believe his expedient embrace of Republican myths that tax cuts are effective stimulus (despite their wanting it both ways and tossing out rhetorical equivalent of presidential signing statements) will yield bitter fruit sooner than expected. Tactically, per usual, just on grounds of expediency, we don’t think he played the hand he had to best effect.

Permanent Washington types trip over themselves ‘lauding’ Obama for maturing into a ‘transactional’ president, one focused on ‘making deals’ and getting things done. This is somehow in marked contrast with his preliminary, closed-door, pro-industry market incumbent deals with Billy Tauzin, etc., the initial unilateral tax cut concessions in the stimulus negotiations, signaling no fight for significant FinReg, and so on? Obama actually remains the same president – he never went to mat on anything before. This time the Republicans just accepted yes for an answer.

Perhaps a mere ‘transactional’ presidency attenuating the newly radicalized social order and mindset at the margins will be enough to secure his re-election. Good for Obama the individual and those profiting from six more years. At what cost to the rest of us?