Barbour’s views on race less interesting now

While it got precious little national or state notice, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour issued a formal and public apology on behalf of the state of Mississippi to the Freedom Riders during ceremonies welcoming them to the 50th anniversary of their contributions to the civil rights movement in this state. It was an apology that was long overdue from the state as whole.

The Freedom Riders faced mob violence, Molotov cocktails, false imprisonment and hostility for their efforts to end segregation of public accommodations and interstate travel in 1961. Barbour’s apology appeared heartfelt and was greeted by a standing ovation from the Freedom Riders gathered in Jackson. The next morning, Barbour and First Lady Marsha Barbour hosted a breakfast at the Governor’s Mansion for the riders and their families.

Sid Salter