Haley Barbour is currently Governor of the State of Mississippi. He is a staunch Republican and governs over the state that stands as a powerful statue of symbolism of America's racially-problematic past. The prisons in the state are full of black people and enslave them as many other prisons in the south already do. Economic inequality persists and remains unaddressed. The state is a mess for black folks, racism is alive and well and Haley Barbour is leading the charge.
But being a nationally-recognized politician, Barbour has learned some tricks of the trade. The game is not about directly supporting racism of the past. It's about maintaining support for norms and institutions of the past that were built on a foundation of racial inequality. Barbour and his GOP colleagues have mastered the art of racial illusion.