Senator Kenny Wayne Jones, Chairman of the Mississippi Legislative Black Caucus says that any public policy considered controversial is a political “tar baby”.
“Religious Freedom, for example, is a political tar baby for Mississippi because when you touch it you get stuck, and the more you struggle with it, the more entangled you get,” Senator Jones says. “Therefore, I do not condemn Governor Barbour’s statements as racist, nor do I believe he intended for anyone else to view his comments as such.”
He says that there have been people who used the term as a “subtle way to belittle African Americans”, but that in this instance Barbour’s statement was “simply partisan rhetoric that any politically astute person is entitled to use.”
“The Mississippi Legislative Black Caucus will fight for those who lack an adequate voice, but we won’t attack a native Mississippians – Republican or Democratic – to appease those who would label Mississippi as a backwards state,” Senator Jones says.
While he does agree that Barbour could have chosen a more politically acceptable word to describe the President’s policies, he says that Barbour’s words were simply misinterpreted.