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NAACP leader: Barbour should have met with Obama

BILOXI — The national president and CEO of the NAACP said yesterday that Gov. Haley Barbour is doing too little to help the state as the Gulf of Mexico oil spill threatens people’s livelihoods.

Benjamin Todd Jealous met with shrimpers and others yesterday in Biloxi. He told WLOX-TV that it was unacceptable for the Republican Barbour to skip in-person meetings during President Barack Obama’s recent trips to South Louisiana.

“I’m sorry, but when the president comes to your state and the people in your state are sort of facing this sort of danger to their livelihood people are facing here, you come down to meet with him and you figure out how to help them,” Jealous said. “That’s what Jindal has done. That’s what Barbour hasn’t done.”

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Alabama Gov. Bob Riley and Florida Gov. Charlie Crist met with Democrat Obama in Louisiana last Friday. Barbour was in New York on a state trip and attended a business groundbreaking in Mississippi May 28 when Obama also went to Louisiana. Spokeswoman Laura Hipp said Barbour regularly takes part in oil-spill conference calls with the president and other governors.

Jindal, Riley and Barbour are Republicans. Crist announced in April that he’s leaving the Republican Party to run as an independent for the U.S. Senate.

Jealous lived in Jackson in the 1990s and was managing editor of the Jackson Advocate, a weekly newspaper. He became president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in 2008.

He said he visited southern Mississippi yesterday because he wanted to see what kind of impact the oil spill might have on people’s economic future.

“We’re here because we know with our experience from Katrina, that people don’t always get helped in the same way,” Jealous said.

He also planned to visit Louisiana’s Terrebonne Parish.


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About Megan Wright


  1. You can’t mean the same Barbour that is promoting a lignite coal extraction in rural Kemper county, MS., among wetlands and more carbon dioxide that we all know what that is going to do. Of course, it is being written “90+%” will be captured. Barbour is old coal and oil. What would be his comment if he met those who really care?

  2. Our governor, Mr. Barbour, should have cleared his schedule and meet with our President, but he didn’t. Why? It only shows where Mr. Barbour interests truly are, not in the welfare of MS or the Gulf, but in his own political gains in Washington. Mr. Barbour is an oil and coal man, and he probably thinks the oil shimming on the Gulf waters is a “pretty” site. I can just hear him now…”That ain’t oil you smell, buddy, that’s money.”

    I hope I don’t hear one more grip from anyone, pertaining to what our President is not doing about this crisis in the Gulf, if our own governor doesn’t care enough to clear his schedule to make an appearance in public to help address the growing concerns and public outcry for help.

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