White Republican Mississippi senator jokes about public hanging

White Republican Mississippi senator jokes about \public hanging\
Mississippi senator praises man with public hanging remark
JACKSON, MISS.—A newly published video shows a white Republican U.S. senator in Mississippi praising someone by saying: “If he invited me to a public hanging, I’d be on the front row.”

Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, who faces a black Democratic challenger in a Nov. 27 runoff, said Sunday that her Nov. 2 remark was “exaggerated expression of regard” for someone who invited her to speak and “any attempt to turn this into a negative connotation is ridiculous.”

Mississippi has a history of racially motivated lynchings of black people. The NAACP website says that between 1882 and 1968, there were 4,743 lynchings in the United States, and nearly 73 per cent of the victims were black. It says Mississippi had 581 during that time, the highest number of any state.

Derrick Johnson, the national president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) who comes from Mississippi, denounced the remark of Hyde-Smith, who has been endorsed by Donald Trump, as shameful. He said it yet again proved how Trump has created a climate that normalizes hateful, racist rhetoric from political candidates.

“Cindy Hyde-Smith’s comments are reprehensible,” Espy campaign spokesman Danny Blanton said in a statement Sunday. “They have no place in our political discourse, in Mississippi, or our country. We need leaders, not dividers, and her words show that she lacks the understanding and judgment to represent the people of our state.”

Read more It is within that context that a video posted on social media on Sunday and by Monday morning viewed almost 3m times landed with incendiary impact. It showed the appearance at a campaign stop earlier this month of Cindy Hyde-Smith, the white sitting US senator from Mississippi who is locked in a fight for the seat with a black Democrat, Mike Espy.

GOP Mississippi senators public hanging remark draws strong rebuke as runoff heats up

The video was shot in Tupelo, in front of a statue of Elvis Presley, who was born in the city in northeastern Mississippi. It shows a small group of white people clapping politely for Hyde-Smith after a cattle rancher introduced her.

Video: Senator deflects over public hanging comment

“I referred to accepting an invitation to a speaking engagement,” said Hyde-Smith, who is also a cattle rancher, in a statement Sunday. “In referencing the one who invited me, I used an exaggerated expression of regard, and any attempt to turn this into a negative connotation is ridiculous.”

The video was acquired by the publisher of a Louisiana news site, the Bayou Brief, from the person who had filmed it. The proprietor of the Bayou Brief, Lamar White Jr, told the Associated Press the footage had come to him because of his track record of reporting racism in the deep south.

Hyde-Smith and Espy each received about 41 per cent of the vote in a four-person race Tuesday to advance to the runoff. The winner gets the final two years of a term started by longtime Republican Sen. Thad Cochran.

Senator Cindy Hyde-Smiths shameful remarks prove once again how Trump has created a social and political climate that normalizes hateful and racist rhetoric, Johnson said in a statement. Hyde-Smiths decision to joke about hanging, in a state known for its violent and terroristic history toward African Americans is sick. To envision this brutal and degenerate type of frame during a time when Black people, Jewish People and immigrants are still being targeted for violence by White nationalists and racists is hateful and hurtful.

Republican Gov. Phil Bryant appointed Hyde-Smith to temporarily succeed Cochran, who retired amid health concerns in April. She will serve until the special election is resolved.

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Espy in 1986 became the first African-American since Reconstruction to win a U.S. House seat in Mississippi, and if he defeats Hyde-Smith, he would be the first African-American since Reconstruction to represent the state in the U.S. Senate.

Lamar White Jr., publisher of a left-leaning Louisiana news site called The Bayou Brief, posted the video Sunday on social media. White told The Associated Press he received the video late Saturday from a very reliable, trusted source, but he would not reveal the persons name. He said that source received it from the person who shot the video.

Hyde-Smith, who is endorsed by President Donald Trump, is the first woman to represent Mississippi in either chamber of Congress, and after being appointed is trying to become the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate from the state.

Cindy Hyde-Smiths comments are reprehensible, Espy campaign spokesman Danny Blanton said in a statement Sunday. They have no place in our political discourse, in Mississippi, or our country. We need leaders, not dividers, and her words show that she lacks the understanding and judgment to represent the people of our state.

Lamar White Jr., publisher of a left-leaning Louisiana news site called The Bayou Brief, posted the video Sunday on social media. White told The Associated Press he received the video late Saturday from “a very reliable, trusted source,” but he would not reveal the person’s name. He said that source received it from the person who shot the video.

Mississippi has a history of racially motivated lynchings of black people. The NAACP website says that between 1882 and 1968, there were 4,743 lynchings in the United States, and nearly 73 percent of the victims were black. It says Mississippi had 581 during that time, the highest number of any state.

White said he believes he received the video because he has been writing about racism in the South for about a dozen years.

Voter turnout will likely fall in the runoff from earlier in the month, in part because the Senate majority is already decided and party groups will put less money into the race than they otherwise would, said Jonathan Winburn, an associate professor of political science at the University of Mississippi. Even though Espy could perform better than Democrats typically do in statewide elections there, Hyde-Smith is the favorite two weeks before the election, he added.

The national NAACP president Derrick Johnson, who is from Mississippi, said Hyde-Smith’s comment shows a lack of judgment.

Three Senate results are still outstanding: the race for Democratic Sen. Bill Nelsons seat in Florida, as well as the contests for GOP-held seats in Arizona and Mississippi. If the current leaders or favorites, including Hyde-Smith, win in all of those states, Republicans would expand their Senate majority to 53-47. (Democrat Kyrsten Sinema leads in Arizona, while Republican Gov. Rick Scott has a tiny lead over Nelson in Florida.)

“Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith’s shameful remarks prove once again how Trump has created a social and political climate that normalizes hateful and racist rhetoric,” Johnson said in a statement. “Hyde-Smith’s decision to joke about ‘hanging,’ in a state known for its violent and terroristic history toward African Americans is sick. To envision this brutal and degenerate type of frame during a time when Black people, Jewish People and immigrants are still being targeted for violence by White nationalists and racists is hateful and hurtful.”

The bigger problems for Espy start when GOP support consolidates behind the incumbent. Asked last month about a potential head-to-head race, half of Mississippis likely voters said they would back Hyde-Smith, while 36 percent said they would support Espy, according to an NBC News/Marist poll. It found the senator earning slightly more support among Republicans than Espy garners among Democrats.

A Republican activist who initially supported another candidate in the special U.S. Senate election said he will vote for Hyde-Smith in the runoff, even though he considers her a weak candidate.

“That comment about ‘a public hanging’ is much ado about nothing,” said Scott Brewster of Brandon, who is white. “She’s not very smart and made a tone deaf comment. It doesn’t make her a racist.”

On Friday, the campaign asked people to share stories related to health care. In a statement that day, Espy said: “Ill stand up for everyone with pre-existing conditions, defend Medicare and take on the drug companies to make sure prescription drugs are affordable.” Hyde-Smith supports repealing and replacing Obamacare.

Video: Hyde-Smith stands by her statement

A Republican state lawmaker in Mississippi, Rep. Karl Oliver, came under sharp criticism in May 2017 after he posted on Facebook that people should by lynched for removing Confederate monuments.

On Nov. 6, Mississippians went to select a senator to finish out the last two years of Sen. Thad Cochrans term, as Cochran retired at the beginning of April for health reasons, according to The Washington Post. This meant that Mississippi was actually electing two senators in the 2018 midterms. Republican Sen. Roger Wicker was running for re-election, which he won handily, according to CNN. The special election was a closer one, even though one of the Republican candidates was Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, Cochrans temporary, appointed replacement, as CNN wrote.

JACKSON, MISS.—A newly published video shows a white Republican U.S. senator in Mississippi praising someone by saying: “If he invited me to a public hanging, I’d be on the front row.”

Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, who faces a black Democratic challenger in a Nov. 27 runoff, said Sunday that her Nov. 2 remark was “exaggerated expression of regard” for someone who invited her to speak and “any attempt to turn this into a negative connotation is ridiculous.”

While the first round of the special election was quite close, the vote spread suggests the run-off might be a different story unless a different group of voters turns up to cast their votes. According to The New York Times, Hyde-Smith garnered 48.5 percent of the vote, with her Democratic opponent Mike Espy close behind her at 40.6 percent. The two of them are separated by just over 8,000 votes.

Mississippi has a history of racially motivated lynchings of black people. The NAACP website says that between 1882 and 1968, there were 4,743 lynchings in the United States, and nearly 73 per cent of the victims were black. It says Mississippi had 581 during that time, the highest number of any state.

If the votes split by party similarly to the way they did in the first round, then, Hyde-Smith will have no trouble holding off Espy. There is a new twist in the race, though. On Sunday morning, journalist Lamar White Jr. posted a video to Twitter showing Hyde-Smith making a joke that many have viewed as highly offensive, given the historical context in Mississippi — and that Espy is black.

Video: Public hanging comment by Senator sparks outrage in Mississippi

Hyde-Smith, running against black man, jokes shed attend public hanging

“Cindy Hyde-Smith’s comments are reprehensible,” Espy campaign spokesman Danny Blanton said in a statement Sunday. “They have no place in our political discourse, in Mississippi, or our country. We need leaders, not dividers, and her words show that she lacks the understanding and judgment to represent the people of our state.”

Millions of Americans went to the polls on Tuesday, and most of the races that they were voting on have long since been decided. There are a few that are very much still up in the air, though, and one of them is in the great state of Mississippi. Updates on the Mississippi Senate race show that the country will have to keep following it for another couple of weeks.

The video was shot in Tupelo, in front of a statue of Elvis Presley, who was born in the city in northeastern Mississippi. It shows a small group of white people clapping politely for Hyde-Smith after a cattle rancher introduced her.

Espy, meanwhile, would become Mississippi's first black senator since Reconstruction. Throughout the campaign trail, Espy touted his federal-level experience, which comes with some baggage. The 64-year-old Democrat previously served in the House of Representatives for six years before going on to serve as President Bill Clinton's secretary of agriculture from 1993 to 1994. Espy was forced to step down amid an ethics probe of allegations that he improperly accepted airplane and sports tickets. He was eventually acquitted on all charges. The Mississippi Democrat has been out of public office for nearly 25 years, spending the past decade as a private attorney.

“I referred to accepting an invitation to a speaking engagement,” said Hyde-Smith, who is also a cattle rancher, in a statement Sunday. “In referencing the one who invited me, I used an exaggerated expression of regard, and any attempt to turn this into a negative connotation is ridiculous.”

NAACP president and CEO Derrick Johnson, who is from Mississippi, said in a statement that Hyde-Smith's "decision to joke about 'hanging,' in a state known for its violent and terroristic history toward African Americans is sick." Johnson called Hyde-Smith's remarks "shameful" and said they "prove once again how Trump has created a social and political climate that normalizes hateful and racist rhetoric."

Hyde-Smith and Espy each received about 41 per cent of the vote in a four-person race Tuesday to advance to the runoff. The winner gets the final two years of a term started by longtime Republican Sen. Thad Cochran.

Republican Gov. Phil Bryant appointed Hyde-Smith to temporarily succeed Cochran, who retired amid health concerns in April. She will serve until the special election is resolved.

Critics Rebuke Mississippi Senators Public Hanging Remark

Espy in 1986 became the first African-American since Reconstruction to win a U.S. House seat in Mississippi, and if he defeats Hyde-Smith, he would be the first African-American since Reconstruction to represent the state in the U.S. Senate.

"In a comment on Nov. 2, I referred to accepting an invitation to a speaking engagement," Hyde-Smith said. "In referencing the one who invited me, I used an exaggerated expression of regard, and any attempt to turn this into a negative connotation is ridiculous."

Hyde-Smith, who is endorsed by President Donald Trump, is the first woman to represent Mississippi in either chamber of Congress, and after being appointed is trying to become the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate from the state.

The NAACP says that between 1882 and 1968, there were 4,743 lynchings in the U.S., and nearly 73 percent of the victims were black. It says Mississippi had 581 during that time, the highest number of any state. The above image shows the body of Ab Young, a black youth, hanging from a tree after he had been lynched by a white mob in Slayden, Mississippi in 1935

Lamar White Jr., publisher of a left-leaning Louisiana news site called The Bayou Brief, posted the video Sunday on social media. White told The Associated Press he received the video late Saturday from “a very reliable, trusted source,” but he would not reveal the person’s name. He said that source received it from the person who shot the video.

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Mississippi GOP senator sparks criticism with public hanging comment | TheHill

White said he believes he received the video because he has been writing about racism in the South for about a dozen years.

Hold up. Stop EVERYTHING, tweeted a Twitter user. A sitting United States Senator, Cindy Hyde-Smith from Mississippi, just said if she were “invited to a public hanging Id be on the front row”. Shes running against a black man in a runoff election. This is America, 2018

The national NAACP president Derrick Johnson, who is from Mississippi, said Hyde-Smith’s comment shows a lack of judgment.

Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, who faces a black Democratic challenger in a Nov. 27 runoff, said Sunday that her Nov. 2 remark was exaggerated expression of regard for someone who invited her to speak and any attempt to turn this into a negative connotation is ridiculous.

“Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith’s shameful remarks prove once again how Trump has created a social and political climate that normalizes hateful and racist rhetoric,” Johnson said in a statement. “Hyde-Smith’s decision to joke about ‘hanging,’ in a state known for its violent and terroristic history toward African Americans is sick. To envision this brutal and degenerate type of frame during a time when Black people, Jewish People and immigrants are still being targeted for violence by White nationalists and racists is hateful and hurtful.”

The comment ignited harsh reaction on Twitter. There used to be a lot of that in her state, The Wire creator David Simon tweeted. No court trial or verdict required. Just a tree and a rope and a crowd. Good of her to remind us of that quaint Mississippi tradition

UPDATE: GOP senator wont comment on hanging remark

A Republican activist who initially supported another candidate in the special U.S. Senate election said he will vote for Hyde-Smith in the runoff, even though he considers her a weak candidate.

“That comment about ‘a public hanging’ is much ado about nothing,” said Scott Brewster of Brandon, who is white. “She’s not very smart and made a tone deaf comment. It doesn’t make her a racist.”

A Republican state lawmaker in Mississippi, Rep. Karl Oliver, came under sharp criticism in May 2017 after he posted on Facebook that people should by lynched for removing Confederate monuments.