Emily Wagster Pettus, MSNBC, January 12, 2011
Possible presidential contender Gov. Haley Barbour–under fire recently for comments that critics claim minimized the problems of Mississippi’s civil rights era–said Tuesday night that his state should build a museum dedicated to the movement.
Barbour said 2011 is a good time to move forward with the museum in Jackson. He said that was because it is the 50th anniversary of the Freedom Riders’ journey that challenged racial segregation and the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War.
“The civil rights struggle is an important part of our history, and millions of people are interested in learning more about it,” Barbour said. “People from around the world would flock to see the museum and learn about the movement.”
Barbour criticized earlier for comments on segregation
A Mississippi civil rights museum was first proposed in 2007 but stalled over discussions of location and funding. Barbour said four years ago that a museum should be built with private donations. He did not offer a funding proposal Tuesday night.
[Editor’s Note: Governor Barbour’s earlier remarks on the “civil rights movement” can be read here.]