The state of Mississippi, which ranks last in just about everything, is about to be first in something.
And that something is almost as bizarre as who's making it happen.
The "what" of this story: Starting with the 2011-2012 school curriculum, civil rights will be a required course for all Mississippi students from kindergarten to 12th grade all across the state. State officials believe Mississippi could be the first state to require civil rights studies throughout all grades in its public school systems.
The "who" of this story: None other than Haley Barbour, Mississippi's flaming civil libertarian governor. For it was this cherubic presidential wanabee who signed the new curriculum into law five years ago.
Barbour told the Associated Press he sees the value in the new curriculum.
"To not know history is to repeat it. And to learn the good things about Mississippi and America and the bad things about Mississippi and America is important for every Mississippian," Barbour said of the new curriculum.
Three cheers for the governor!
And, yes, this is the same Haley Barbour who dove into deep doodoo by rewriting history to transform the White Citizens Council in his hometown, Yazoo City, Miss., from a bunch of segregationist rednecks determined to thwart the orders of the Supreme Court to a community of upright business leaders and parents focused on keeping the Ku Klux Klan out of town.