Barbour says it’s time to build civil rights museum

JACKSON — Possible presidential contender Gov. Haley Barbour — under fire recently for comments critics claim minimized the problems of Mississippi’s civil rights era — said Tuesday night his state should build a museum dedicated to the movement.

In his 38-minute speech, 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, which 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.”