Following a flap over his defense of a Civil Rights-era segregationist group, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour used his final state-of-the-state address to encourage lawmakers to build a $50 million civil rights museum.
“This is the year to get this museum going,” Mississippi’s Clarion-Ledger reports Barbour said in his remarks last night. “This is the 50th anniversary of the Freedom Riders 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,” he continued. “People from around the world would flock to see the museum and learn about the movement.”
Barbour, a potential 2012 Republican presidential candidate, got slammed in the media last month for defending the segregationist Citizens Councils, which were formed in opposition to the civil rights movement after Brown v. Board of Education. He later apologized.