OH HALEY NO: No Commemorative License Plate Honoring KKK Grand Wizard

Here’s a nifty idea for a new vanity plate,”KKKROX”…it’ll go so well on my new Ku Klux Klan commemorative license?#@*! !  Oh, boy, what an absurd idea.!  The Mississippi legislature proposed a special Nathan Bedford Forrest tag, the first grand wizard of the KKK (and Forrest Gump’s namesake).  When pressed to denounce the action, Governor Haley Barbour said that there wouldn’t be such a tag.  But, Barbour has come under fire by the NAACP for not condemning attempts to honor Forrest as a “historical figure.”  All of this is newsworthy only because Barbour is a possible Republican Presidential candidate for 2012, so let the smearage begin.

A Southerner in the White House? Aren’t they all racists? Let’s see…we’ve had umpteen (9 of the first 12 pre-Civil War!) Southern Presidents, most recently, President Clinton who flew the Confederate flag above the Arkansas statehouse while he was Governor. And, he signed into law days to honor General Robert E. Lee and Confederate President Jefferson Davis’ birthdays.  So, what is this really about? 

There is a valid desire in the South to preserve the good and nobel parts of Southern history.  So, let’s do that, while being honest about the ugly aspects of our history, too.  There is no need to honor someone who symbolizes one of the stains on our past.  It’s just hurtful and those who proposed it know that…but, Haley Barbour did not propose it.

If the issue is confronting our racist past, let’s do it.  The Civil War has been over for 150 years and now we have our first black President.  So, let the gigantic therapy session begin.  Why doesn’t the NAACP take the lead and organize a national conversation about the past, the present and creating a post-racial era in our country?  Invite Haley Barbour and other national leaders.  “Let’s face reality” and stop hiding behind the ghosts of our past and stand up for those that contribute to a better future.  Calling out one guy for something he wouldn’t say, isn’t going to solve the problem.  United, our country can confront the realities of racism today and not let hate divide us. 

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