Haley Barbour Won't Denounce KKK Plates

'I don't go around denouncing people'
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 16, 2011 9:56 AM CST
Haley Barbour on KKK License Plates: 'I Don't Go Around Denouncing People'
Gov. Haley Barbour says he won't denounce a proposed license plate to honor Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest, at a news conference, Feb. 15, 2011. Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant looks on.   (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Haley Barbour doesn’t think Mississippi’s legislature will approve the Sons of Confederate Veterans’ proposed license plate honoring Ku Klux Klan leader Nathan Bedford Forrest—but he’s not going denounce the proposal. The state’s NAACP has called on Barbour to do so, the AP reports, but when asked about it, the governor replied, “I don’t go around denouncing people. That’s not going to happen.” Pressed further, he added, “I know there’s not a chance it’ll become law.”

Needless to say, the NAACP wasn’t satisfied with the response. “I find it curious that the governor won’t come out and clearly denounce” the proposal, the group’s Mississippi president said. “As the head of the state, he shouldn't tap dance around the question.” The incident comes just months after Barbour sparked controversy by saying that he didn’t remember segregated Mississippi as being “that bad.” For more on the license plate controversy, click here. (More Haley Barbour stories.)

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