Symbolism vs. policy: Do Barbour’s civil rights words match actions?

While I will be the first to admit that health care legislation passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama is not perfect, it surely offers this country the first comprehensive attempt at covering people who need health care insurance and controlling the increasing costs of health care. If our governor had said this, had acknowledged that Mississippi has several hundred thousand of its citizens (black and white) who would benefit from this legislation, and had offered to sit down with the President and members of Congress to work out any problems, then we would have gone to battle for him and with him. But no, he filed a lawsuit, claiming the legislation was unconstitutional. This is, of course, the same course of action that Gov. Paul Johnson took when Congress passed the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Rather than acknowledge the moral rightness of allowing black Mississippians to vote, Gov. Johnson and his attorney general sued the federal government, claiming the legislation was unconstitutional, that it violated states’ rights (sound familiar).

Rep. Bennie Thompson (D)
Clarion Ledger Op-ed
1/30/11