Haley Barbour Refuses to Pardon Black Man | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Haley Barbour Refuses to Pardon Black Man

Clyde Kennard was convicted of purchasing $25 worth of chicken feed he knew to be stolen. He died in 1963 after being released early due to intestinal cancer. The only witness against him has recanted his story. Barbour agrees that Kennard was wronged but refuses to pardon. Barbour may become the first governor in U.S. history to refuse to pardon someone he has publically proclaimed as innocent. This story is gaining national attention and is being discussed on numerous blogs. It has 4 stars on yahoo. For more info go to http://www.clydekennard.org

Previous Comments

ID
131401
Comment

I blogged on this yesterday, then started another thread about it here last night. It's depressing stuff. The only conclusion I can reach is that Barbour is very concerned about losing the votes of rural white supremacists. Nothing else would explain this action, and his decision to remain entangled with the dreadful CCC. Remember: 40-odd percent of Neshoba County residents didn't even want to see Killen prosecuted. He murdered three people, and a near-majority wanted to see him get away with it. Why? Because they were civil rights activists. Northerners. "Agitators." And I don't believe the crap about "it's been too long"; it's been 25 years since the last BTK killing, too, but I don't remember anyone saying we should let Rader get off. The "it's been too long" argument is reserved for folks who killed blacks and white civil rights activists in the 60s. It's apparently just not worth the bother to hold their killers accountable. Or to sign an order pardoning a man falsely accused at around the same time. It's all very sad, and it's good to see other people are as outraged as I am. Thanks for this. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-05-06T22:12:54-06:00
ID
131402
Comment

Like you, I too was alarmed to see that Haley refused to disassociate himself with the CCC. But, alas, he knew that his base here in Mississippi would elect him because he is has always been pro-white. Remember, back during the height of desegregation, Yazoo County schools were profiled and Haley took his kids out of public schools. Haley is a black eye for the New South. He had been gone from Mississippi for 20 plus odd years, and the first thing he did was throw that confederate flag enladened lapel pin on. Thus, electrifying 'the base'. He makes Trent Lott look like Kenneth Stokes' cousin.

Author
Darron
Date
2006-05-06T23:09:47-06:00
ID
131403
Comment

It's times like these I'm glad I live in a city that's 72% African-American, where (although we certainly have problems of our own) wearing a Confederate flag and boasting of CCC affiliation and pooh-poohing victims of the state's racist policies would kill a political career instead of sactifying it. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-05-06T23:48:20-06:00
ID
131404
Comment

He makes Trent Lott look like Kenneth Stokes' cousin. Hahahaha! That's one of the funniest lines I've read in here! Now can I cry a little, now that I'm finished laughing? Haley is the lame excuse governor, and this excuse is the lamest he's ever come up with in a long string of championship lame excuses.

Author
C.W.
Date
2006-05-07T08:59:25-06:00
ID
131405
Comment

This is a disgrace. If an innocent man cannot get his name cleared after 40 years when even the Governor has agreed was wrongfully accused, it doesn't bode well for the civil rights (let alone human rights) agenda in Mississippi. I know Kirk Fordice was bad, but Haley maybe the most redneck hayseed Governor we've had since Ross Barnett. Its too bad, because he has wielded much more political power than some other governors thanks to his solid alliance with Senate conservatives.

Author
Jeff Lucas
Date
2006-05-07T09:49:25-06:00
ID
131406
Comment

Tom's right. It's clearly political. He doesn't want to lose the votes of bigots. The only logical alternative is that he's a bigot himself. Nice choices, eh? We don't need these throwbacks in power. They're holding us back.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-05-07T10:05:28-06:00
ID
131407
Comment

Of course, an interesting philosophical question would be whether pandering to bigots, in fact, makes one a bigot. I would argue that it does, at least in any way that matters to society. I said it once at a Jackson 2000 lunch -- why in hell should I care about what's in a public official's "heart"??? It's his actions and words, and in this case non-actions, that matter to a citizen. You can take it right back to Cochran and Lott on the lynching bill. I had some respect for Cochran before that, but lost it all right there. If a U.S. senator from the state where the most lynchings occurred can't stand up and say, "lynching was wrong," then there is no reason to respect him. And if he is doing it because he fears losing the bigot vote, he has joined all the others in thinking the worst about his fellow Mississippians. That's absolute contempt for us, and these throwbacks show it all the time. They're the main reason the world thinks so poorly of us, even as so much progress is made here. They don't want the world to know because then they would be proved wrong when they proclaim loudly that "Mississippi is a conservative state." Even worse, more disenchanted voters in the state might realize their power and send these dinosaurs back to the plantation where they belong. People, start wising up. The Republican Party has made a deal with the devil for votes in Mississippi, and they are scared to death that people are going to wise up and realize it and send them packing. Why else does someone play to their "core" voters in such a disgusting way? Because: They. Need. Them. There is power in this knowledge, folks. Think about it. Talk about it. And remember: 62 percent of Mississippians under 30 voted for Kerry in the last election. Only 36 percent of Mississippians under 35 currently approve of Bush; 62 percent approve. Only 44 percent of all ages approve. Haley et al need their old bigots. That is good news if we act on it.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-05-07T10:19:30-06:00
ID
131408
Comment

Here's a PDF of the latest Citizens Informer, the newspaper of the organization that Barbour refused to distance himself from. No, the CofCC does not share any common ideas or language with the N-JAM Club. go see for yourself.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-05-07T13:05:10-06:00
ID
131409
Comment

Hey, I knew these folks were evil bigots, but I'm shocked that they don't make more of an effort to hide it. They're still against miscegeny? Woa. (6) The traditional family is the basic unit of human society. We believe in the traditional family as the basic unit of human society and morality, and we oppose all efforts by the state and other powers to weaken the structure of the American family through toleration of sexual licentiousness, homosexuality and other perversions, mixture of the races, pornography in all forms, and subversion of the authority of parents.

Author
Brian Johnson
Date
2006-05-07T13:34:26-06:00
ID
131410
Comment

Right, Brian. Meet the group all these throwbacks pander to for votes. And they tell us to "get over it."

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-05-07T13:37:10-06:00
ID
131411
Comment

And check out that book they review, on page 20, I believe, about how to beat down liberals, or some such. We MUST get that book and write about it. Why do I have a feeling we will encounter some mighty familiar strategies. I just can't wait to read the chapter on civil rights. I bet it says something about saying "get over it" every chance you get. ;-)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-05-07T13:42:20-06:00
ID
131412
Comment

It's one thing to use racist codes, like their unhistorical blather about the U.S. being a part of European civilization. That at least leaves the door open to assimilation. But they are not content to use code; racial hatred is so important to them that they have to come right out and state it. So their vision of America is a Christian, European (read "white") nation with enclaves of contained, ever-dwindling non-Europeans who know their place, i.e. subordinate to white power. Welcome to Bantustan. That is downright terrifying. In this, Barbour is emblematic of the larger Republican strategy, which is to clutch ever tighter to its increasingly isolated far-right wing. Thus, they oppose stem cell research, which only makes sense if you believe embryos have souls. The vast majority of Americans take a more common sense approach to the beginning of life--they don't want to see third trimester abortions (which are extraordinarily rare in any case--about 1% of all abortions), but they also don't think that an embryo is a person. Then there is the Terry Shaivo case. There is Rick Santorum's "argument" that allowing homosexuals to marry would mean we would have to sanction bestiality. The list goes on and on. And then there is the other half of the increasingly shaky Republican coalition. These are the fiscal Republicans, who believe that the purpose of government is to further enrich the wealthy. They have played the Christian right for years while they continue to pass massive tax cuts for the wealthy, hand out multi-billion dollar contracts to corporations they control and which then pass some of that money back to them in campaign contributions or luxurious trips to Scotland (yes, Mr. DeLay, I'm talking to you), and attempt to privatize government. If Bush's plan for social security had passed, for instance, it would have meant billions and billions of dollars for banks and stock brokers. My favorite part of Thomas Frank's "What's the Matter with Kansas?" comes at the end of his analysis of this scam by wealthy Republicans against Christian Republicans. He writes that deteriorating economic conditions have paradoxically driven evangelicals into the arms of the Republican Party. In the context of Kansas's long history of populist agitation, he writes that it is as if a mob of angry protestors has gathered outside the landlord's mansion, screaming their outrage. When the landlord opens his window, he hears that they're screaming, "We're here to cut your taxes!" But here we are, years into the Republican revolution, and abortion remains legal. The rich, on the other hand, have become very, very, very rich. My take on Barbour is that he is more the second type of Republican rather than the first. So he is not "personally" a bigot but rather uses bigots to continue with his project of enriching the wealthy, like his friends at AshBritt. But I would argue that this makes him even worse. A "personal" bigot has conviction. Evil conviction, but still. They think they're right. Barbour's kind of bigot does not have conviction. Instead, he calculates. He knows what he's using. He knows that it is evil. And he goes right ahead and does it anyway.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2006-05-07T14:15:26-06:00
ID
131413
Comment

One positive footnote on this: Chip Pickering disagrees with Barbour, and supports a pardon for Kennard. Then again, Pickering also spoke before the CCC in 2002. Then again, so did his Democratic opponent, Ronnie Shows. I'm frankly depressed about both parties right now. There are a few good elected Republicans and a lot of good (primarily black) elected Democrats, but I think both parties are funded mainly by people who happily pander to racists--let's face it, the Democratic legislative majority is based on the Dixiecrat legacy--and will need to be born again, as it were, before they're appreciably better than the Democratic Party was 40 years ago. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-05-07T15:27:22-06:00
ID
131414
Comment

Great posts, BTW, folks. Thanks so much for this. Brian, it's good to see you in these forums, dude! Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-05-07T15:27:50-06:00
ID
131415
Comment

Agreed, Tom. I think Brian's "Public Eye" blog is going to prove to be one of the best things the JFP has ever done. Information is power, and folks are going to get a whole lotta unfettered information, thanks to our new assistant editor. Look out. Don't miss his new Articles of Secession post he just put up. Good one.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-05-07T16:39:46-06:00
ID
131416
Comment

He doesn't want to lose the votes of bigots. The only logical alternative is that he's a bigot himself. I'm not sure this is an either/or question.

Author
C.W.
Date
2006-05-07T18:20:58-06:00
ID
131417
Comment

I can accept that. What do you think the other choices are? Let's discuss.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-05-07T19:53:06-06:00
ID
131418
Comment

Wow, is all I can say about the things being thrown at Haley Barbour. I think he is a good governor as was Ronnie Musgrove. I don't think Barbour is anywhere close to be a bigot or racist as some think. Before you as, I have been following the Kennard story. I think it's a shame his legacy is showing him as a criminal. Mr Kennard was a Korean was hero and should be remembered as such since he is not a criminal. However, to call Barbour the things he is being called here is just not accurate.

Author
nyview
Date
2006-05-07T21:58:05-06:00
ID
131419
Comment

nyview what other reason he didn't pardon kennard, give me a reason? a good reason. i'll be waiting.

Author
WILLman
Date
2006-05-08T00:19:35-06:00
ID
131420
Comment

It's baffling to me, really. I'd rather believe sheer stupidity before a nefaroius plot to uphold the honor of some band of bigots, however.

Author
Ironghost
Date
2006-05-08T09:07:28-06:00
ID
131421
Comment

The problem, Iron and nyvivew, is that Barbour has a documented not only of pandering to bigots himself, but of planning and helping implement an entire RNC strategy to do so. Thus, Iron, it is VERY difficult to believe that, suddenly, Barbour is casting aside the southern strategy, and just being stupid. I remember Lott refusing to sign onto the Chaney, Goodman and Schwerner resolution at the 25th anniversary of the murders in 1989. He said then that it wasn't something he did -- such kinds of resolutions -- even though he called for one condemning the racism (and perhaps co-sponsored?) one condemning Khalid Muhammed's racism. Stupid? Yes. Pandering to bigots? Yes. I know it's hard to swallow, but it is simply a fact that the RNC and its strategists have followed a playback of wink-wink racism to pander to bigoted voters back to when Barbour was a political strategist for Nixon. This is simply fact. Everyone knows it. If it weren't fact, then the RNC chairman would not have apologized last summer to the NAACP in Baltimore for doing it all these years. Think about it. Now, considering that Barbour was a major strategiest in all this, and has done this crap for years, do you really think we should rush to give him the benefit of the doubt that he just doesn't believe in pardons in this case? Please. The man has a history, and he should reap what he's sown. Even if Mississippians (some) are the only ones in the country who don't seem to know what he's really about (and party diehards).

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-05-08T10:27:21-06:00
ID
131422
Comment

... followed a playBOOK of wink-wink racism ...

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-05-08T10:28:17-06:00
ID
131423
Comment

Racism comes NAACP and the SCLC as much as it does from any one else. Trent Lott and Thad Cochren have done more for ALL Mississipians than any senator from this state ever has. Harley Barbour, while strage at time, is a good man and is helping the state. I'm sorry if your opinion are differant, but it does not make it a fact that Barbour is a racist as you claim. Also, the DNC has no ones best intrest at heart except for their own. At heart they couldn't give a rip about equal rights and the poor.

Author
nyview
Date
2006-05-08T11:05:48-06:00
ID
131424
Comment

You know, it's not that I'm defending the RNC or anyone here. I'd just believe stupidity over anything else. For all I know, he could be a klansman in disguise as a normal person. I'd rather have solid proof, however. It's still a shame he won't do the right thing, however.

Author
Ironghost
Date
2006-05-08T17:34:39-06:00
ID
131425
Comment

The latest on Kennard: the state parole board is backing Barbour up. I can barely believe this is a Clarion-Ledger article, because it does a really good job of covering some salient facts--including the fact that, for all the sudden concern about posthumous pardons not being appropriate, Trent Lott successfully arranged a pardon for none other than Jefferson Davis when he was in the U.S. House of Representatives. So, apparently, 115 years is not too late for a pardon--but 45 years is. The harder I look at Barbour and Lott, the creepier they get. You know, I may vote for Fleming after all. Not that it matters. Lott's wink-wink act will win him another landslide, because we still live in a rural Dixiecrat shithole. Sorry. No positive Mississippi spoken here right now. Fordice, Barbour, and Lott can all rub shoulders with white supremacist groups, and they still get landslide support. And that clearly makes some people very happy. I am beginning to appreciate the situation posed by the doctor in Camus' The Plague, who is the last survivor of a contagious disease and spends his dying days working on a vaccine that nobody will be alive to use. Or maybe Barbour is that doctor. I don't know. Right now I'm too pissed off to say. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-05-11T23:00:45-06:00
ID
131426
Comment

According to this link here, in today's CL there is a chance of another hearing. It's mystifying why Barbour is hiding behind such legal mumbo-jumbo. I hesitate to call him racist or anything. Some people simply worship procedure too much to do what is right. I believe that is what we are looking at here.

Author
Ironghost
Date
2006-05-12T15:15:16-06:00
ID
131427
Comment

Remarkable. Do you really think Mr. Barbour "worships procedure"? It's an interesting theory, but he doesn't strike me as that kind of guy.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-05-12T15:17:11-06:00
ID
131428
Comment

Tom, I am blown away by your comment on Lott and Jeff Davis. Davis was a traitor, plain and simple. He led an armed insurrection against the United States and never even expressed remorse so far as I know. Yet, he gets a pardon and Kennard does not? White supremacy is alive and well. It makes me want to spit.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2006-05-12T15:37:23-06:00
ID
131429
Comment

Agreed, Brian. I feel like I should be saying "in Lott's defense" here, but it's really indefensible. This would have been circa 1980, about the time he said publicly (for the first of many times) that he wished Strom Thurmond had won the presidency in '48. He was clearly going for a specific demographic. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-05-12T21:26:23-06:00
ID
131430
Comment

Re Barbour: I wish I could say I thought he was just a creature of habit, but that wouldn't explain his otherwise inexplicable decision to not even politely ask a white supremacist group to stop advertising with his name and photo. I would find it hard to believe that he's personally part of the white supremacist movement, but they clearly have some kind of pull with him, and I'm not clear why. They're such a pathetic group now that I can't believe they have that much influence, but maybe what they do have is old money. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-05-12T21:30:23-06:00
ID
131431
Comment

I would find it hard to believe that he's personally part of the white supremacist movement, but they clearly have some kind of pull with him, and I'm not clear why. <--TH For some reason I wouldn't find it hard to believe and I hardly know or follow up on the activities of this 'govenor'. I'm not saying he's racist, because I don't personally know him from Adam.....but if it walks, talks, and acts, well you all know the rest.....

Author
jan2006
Date
2006-05-16T14:45:31-06:00
ID
131432
Comment

Let me retract that statement.... I don't want to assume he is racist by simply associating himself wih those who are...but if he is or if he isn't......he is still walking a fine line between the two.

Author
jan2006
Date
2006-05-16T15:05:52-06:00

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