Opinions, Context & Ideas from the TPM Editors TPM Editor's Blog
The most generous thing you can say about the Citizens Councils is that they argued for using legal (boycotts) and extra-legal means of defending White Supremacy in the South as opposed to the paramilitary and terrorist violence of the Klan. Whether that distinction always held up in practice is debatable. But that was the idea. As noted before, the Citizens Council were the 'respectable' face segregation, in contrast to the Klan whose efforts in the dying days of Jim Crow they often did believe to be counter-productive.
Barbour has now recanted his original praise of the group and said the Yazoo City Citizens Council "totally indefensible."