Consider, for example, what Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had to say about our state as he spoke from the Lincoln Memorial back on Aug. 28, 1963:
“I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a desert state sweltering with the heat of injustice and oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.”
Now consider what Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour said in a speech at Millsaps College on Monday, a day set aside to celebrate the life of Dr. King:
“A lot of reprehensible things took place between the advent of the Freedom Rides in 1961 and enactment of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and finally integration in the bulk of this state’s public schools.
“Deplorable actions, including the murder of innocent people, young men in service to a cause that was right, will always be a stain on our history.
“And school integration did not put an end to racial problems or prejudice. However, the 100-plus Freedom Riders participating in the 2011 celebration will find Mississippi an enormously changed state as to race relations.
“Some may be surprised that a conservative Republican governor would play a