Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Others' Childhood Memories

     I posted Friday about my memory of that mid-air plane crash in New York City in 1960, perhaps the first time in my then young life that I paid attention to a news story.

     Now Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour's memory of his childhood in the racial 1960's is a hot topic. He says he doesn't remember it "as being that bad" in Yazoo City, and says the Citizen's Council there were forces for good that kept the Klan out of town.

    To malquote Billy Joel: The bad old times weren't always bad, tomorrow's not as good as it seems.

    Too bad some of the people who were featured in a 60 Minutes report on Sunday didn't grow up in Yazoo City. They have virtually perfect memories of everything in their lifetimes.

     Barbour does remember hearing Rev. Martin Luther speak in Yazoo City, but he doesn't remember what he actually said. Barber was just fifteen at the time, and is probably right when he says he and his friends were more interested in the girls at the outdoor speech.

     Bt Tuesday, Barbour was singing a different tune, running away from the positive comments he had made about the (White) Citizen's Councils:

"Nobody should construe that to mean I think the town leadership were saints, either," he said. "Their vehicle, called the 'Citizens' Council,' is totally indefensible, as is segregation."
     That's quite an epiphany.

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