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?


  1. says

    The Gawker items make it clear their Fox insider is junior-to- mid-level at best. Given the vindictiveness of the corporate culture wouldn’t be surprised if Fox doesn’t track the individual down as some kind of Apocalypse Now-Kurtzian ritual termination.

    • Sam Lowry says

      LOL. Mistah Fox Mole- his career dead (to paraphrase the Conrad novel). Not that this person dropped major bombshells, but anything that causes a stir within the Fox organization has to be a good thing. However, if this story from Mediaite is to be believed: Fox News Spokesperson Tells Mediaite: We Found The Mole (UPDATE) Maybe we’ll get to hear how it all ends and what “extreme prejudice” means in the Fox world when it comes to dealing with rogue employees.

        • says

          The Fox employee seems to have wanted to commit suicide by Fox – i.e., all but looking to ride momentary notoriety to a new gig. If an individual had something profound and systemically important to reveal or say, that’s one thing. Pictures of bathroom stalls?

  2. Sam Lowry says

    It’s been quite a fun filled week for conservative media outlets and race relations. There was the National Review giving Derbyshire the heave ho. Kind of nice to see a line being drawn somewhere, though I wouldn’t be surprised if it were more optics than any meaningful commitment to marginalizing outrageously offensive racial commentary.

    But my favorite was a truly sublime Freudian slip by a local Fox affiliate in Florida. At first glance one might have though it was an Onion production. But no, it was a Fox “News” (albeit local) outfit describing the National Socialist Movement (basically neo-nazis) as a civil rights organization for white people. Very strange considering that most Fox viewers are conditioned to hear the world “socialist” and reflexively go into a frothing rage (except that in this case, the presenters are talking about *that* kind of socialism, the kind used by The Corporal, so maybe it’s OK?) But the cherry on top is that the reporter, without any sense of context or awareness of the group’s nature, is African American. While it’s easy to mock, deride, or even hate Fox’s “news” programs, one has to respect them for their attention to the details.

    I can’t help myself for sharing a link from Wonkette, but I like the cut of their jib.

    • Dr Leo Strauss says

      The Fox cable network is a weird place. Not just for its objectively baleful impact. (It’s separate from the broadcast group and its affiliates).

      Almost to a person no one at Fox cable we know really believes what they say on air, but they know the lines expected of them. As if it were a Vince McMahon production.

      Fear of losing contracts is not a small motivation. Fox maintains a certain bunker-like fear of stepping out of line. Even the otherwise normal practice of hiring an agent to re-negotiate a higher contract can trigger dismissal, as a certain popular blonde anchor with botox fellatio lips found out the hard way.

      You’re right – this local reporter’s cluelessness and background are the cherry on top. Who need’s context when his controversy’s content maw demands to be fed? It’s scary to think what gets on air on local affiliates nightly.

      Derbyshire’s departure seemingly is the culmination of a somewhat strained relationship with NRO. His sin was the unartful transmission of dog whistles at the normal hearing range of 3,000 Hz. What’s the point of dog whistles without the pretense of finesse and the wink? Agree it would be nice to see a line drawn but like you doubtful.

      • Sam Lowry says

        I’ve always wondered if the people involved in Fox’s cable “news” really believed what they were broadcasting or were just cynical/opportunists. One reaction I had to your response was to feel sorry for the folks who watch thinking it is news and aren’t clued in that it is an agit prop theater troupe. But then it occurred to me that the people who willingly tune into Fox “News” (as well as talk radio) must have some need or deep seated psychological problems to be fed an alternative universe built around paranoia, fear, resentment, victimhood, etc. At which point I end up not feeling all that sorry for them.

        Sooo…it’s good to know Canada isn’t too far away. Not necessarily for permanent re-settlement; but hopefully they’ll have decent refuge camps and make a good effort to find homes somewhere in the world for former reality based Americans when/if we have to flee the approaching “christian” nationalist dis-enlightenment. Just kidding. Sort of. (Note to self: look into getting a boat, so as to have an alternate way to get to Canada.)

      • Sam Lowry says

        Serendipitously came across this Gawker piece via Littlegreenfootballs. Supposedly a Fox “News” employee turned mole will be posting tidbits about working for Fox. It will be interesting to see forthcoming revelations.


  3. Ronnie says

    Why is it wrong to be a white rascist but ok for groups such as black panther party and the NAACP witch are also hate spredding groups no matter what people would like to say? I don’t understand why it’s ok for one race and not the other? Just because one race is more verbal about it or whattever the reason i’m just tryin to understand this whole hate is ok for some and not other’s.. Please explain to me i’m very curious?? Truthseaker!!

  4. Comment says

    Oxford, Miss is a pretty cool town – Some in Miss call it the Peoples Republic of Oxford because it is almost as liberal as Tuscaloosa.

  5. DFH Dave says

    Just visited my sister in Tupelo for Thanksgiving. She had to move there from Erie PA to keep her job. Even though she herself is Evangelical, she’s appalled by the sanctimony and self-regard of the ubiquitous Christian extremists. She’s come to detest Haley Barbour so much she refuses to speak of him. Tupelo itself is charmless and riddled with urban blight. MSNBC and Comedy Central are not available on local cable, just Fox, Fox, Fox forever. I think I might rather be in one of the coming re-education camps than be forced to live there.

  6. Comment says

    Example of calls to release the spy Pollard – Yglesias is having fun with the expected double standard that many will show to Pollard vs. Bradley Manning. Yet, would either person be convicted under the Constitution of treason? Yet, we think most people – by far – in CI and the wider Intel community regard Pollard as traitor and some, if not many, regard Manning as one too (was Eli Manning secretly working for the Eagles last week?.Digress).
    But Nathan Bedford Forrest and Capt Mosby conducted actual attacks on US troops. So what about Booth et al.

  7. Comment says

    Btw – not referring to the definition of treason in the Constitution – Very few of the people who have been regarded as traitors by broad swaths of the country would fit that definition. While many on the Confeds would not be convicted under the Constitutional definition of treason, some would – And many would come closer to being convicted than many of the more modern leftist rebels.
    Anyway – we know it is a harsh accusation and we have family members who would take great issue with us on it, but we do think most people think of secession as disloyalty (for ignominious reasons camouflaged under Constitutional figleaf) at best and possibly more.

  8. Comment says

    We didn’t think we were being contentious – if you look at American statements at the time of the rebellion — the Lincoln men and Congress and after they all regarded them as traitors. People don’t press that case now (even thought they think it) since then because it’s a hash word, but celebrations of secession are going to provoke people to say what they really think. Btw, a lot of the conservative pols who are also southern partisans are pretty quick with accusations of treason against pretty much anyone to the left of George HW Bush. It’s very common in conservative circles to hear accusations of treason against half of the country. So maybe the word has lost some charge. But we do agree w/ Tbilisi that many southern partisans do not regard themselves as traitors. But it’s just a fact that the Confeds were regarded that way by the Unionists of the time. You can look at how the attack on Ft. Sumter was reported at the time.

  9. Tbilisi says

    Comment :
    celebration of treason .

    Comment, a historical quibble: Secession wasn’t treason. How can one commit treason against a country the government of which one does not recognize and from which one seceded? I think the most reasonable perspective of Southern secession is that the Confederates left the USA, and then came back into it after they lost the war.

  10. Comment says

    Ferguson’s attempts to “clarify” Barbour’s racial whitewash (pun?) are pretty funny in themselves.

  11. josephdietrich says

    Not canny enough to realize the film will be bad? Hell, they’re not even canny enough to realize that the film is based on a comic book that has very little relationship to Norse mythology, and that the Thor of myth never actually fought The Destroyer, The Absorbing Man, or Ego the Living Planet.

  12. anxiousmodernman says


    Alan Colmes is too harsh, yeah, but Robinson’s mega-failed on his own terms, in his own way. Ditto what Doc said: We deserve better.

  13. Comment says

    Gene Robinson does seem weak – He gets all Alan Colmsy without being pushed. But – even still. Often man liberals seem lazy on TV – they do not do indepth research and analysis of those they are about to criticism – Instead, they issue proclaimations, etc – But you really have to practice things like talking points et al to make them work.
    Btw, Maddow is going after Barbour now at 92Y -So it makes sense Barbour won’t have many defenders there – But Tweety and company still kept quie

    re Robinson probably thinks his life is going so well right now he is reluctant to take a chance and be bold.

  14. Dr Leo Strauss says

    Saw excerpts only. He’s definitely riding a media swoon. The Grover placement is interesting given how much Values Voters heatedly resent his open, active support for gay rights and other issues. To the point of people talking about creating alternatives to his Wednesday meetings, etc.

  15. Dr Leo Strauss says

    Just caught the actual Robinson appearance. Our criticism of Robinson has always been that he offers habitually weak, watered down coffee table commentary, routinely avoiding actual tactile engagement with the issue at hand. It’s annoying on the Mika Den Mother show. Merely a wasted opportunity when paired one-on-one with a compliant host. His columns can be scanned or avoided without pain.

    He’s always pleasant, genial and offers generally informed Non-Rightist observations. Given his prominent platforms we think we deserve more.

    We make the firm distinction here between crisp contest of ideas and those who legitimately worry about the ‘angry’ trap. Non-Rightists are entitled to incisive engagement without anger, energetic without shrillness. Amiable reasonableness we can find with elsewhere with baristas.

    Robinson chooses to be marketed as a Non-Rightist thought leader. He is paid to be such. Given the semi-ubiquity of his voice in Non-Rightist media it’s a shame that Non-Rightists can’t have a more vigorous, immersive representative, thriving on rebuttal and confident doing so while steering well clear of the ‘anger’ perception.

    He’s nice enough. In an earlier time, paradoxically, he would have been very effective.

  16. Comment says

    Odd – Did you see 60 Min. puff piece on Chris Christie? It was like they were competing w/ nbc in trying to praise Christie.

    Anyway – the show has gotten a lot of feedback on the web – But no one seems to have noticed or mentioned that Christie keeps as copy of a Grover Norquist book on his desk for the camera to see. He was not even asked about by Steve Kroft.

  17. Comment says

    Eugene Robinson just babbles about illegal S. Carolina seceding instead of really doing his homework and explaining why this celebration of treason and white supremacy is dangerous.

    He lets a Lost Causer ramble non sense.

  18. Comment says

    When we saw this Boss Hogg outburst on Twittter we knew that Tweety and company would probably prefer to cover the decline of McCain’s sanity instead.

    The ignorant babble about the Confederacy that has blossomed in recent years is a big problem – It’s been building for quite some time.

    In fact – Barbour has been saying this stuff for quite some time and people just looked away. His very poor state subsists on subsidies from the north. Now is a good time for Chuck Schumer to go down to Mississppi and remind them all.

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