In a recent interview, Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour defended the white segregationist Citizens Councils while looking back on the South of his youth, saying they opposed the KKK. Though he quickly apologized for his remarks, the whole thing smacks a little too much of historical revisionism.
Nation columnist and Princeton Professor Melissa Harris-Perry appeared on MSNBC's Hardball with Mississippi's Rep. Bennie Thompson (D) to discuss Barbour's comments and their deeper implications. Both argue that painting a rosier picture of the Citizens Councils in the present blocks America from learning anything productive from a dark time in its history. "The history of America tells you that when you start hearing people talk about this kind of separation, secession, nullification, states rights, you are aiding and abetting a history of the most ugly kind of violence," Harris-Perry says.
You can read Melissa Harris Perry's Nation columns here.