Mississippi Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R) faced pushback on Sunday after a local publisher posted a viral video in which she says at a public event that she’d be “on the front row” if she were invited to “a public hanging.”
The context of the Nov. 2 remark was not immediately clear, but it hit a nerve on social media as Hyde-Smith runs a heated campaign against Democrat Mike Espy, who would be the the first black U.S. senator from Mississippi since 1881.
“If he invited me to a public hanging, I’d be on the front row”- Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith says in Tupelo, MS after Colin Hutchinson, cattle rancher, praises her.
Hyde-Smith is in a runoff on Nov 27th against Mike Espy. pic.twitter.com/0a9jOEjokr
— Lamar White, Jr. (@LamarWhiteJr) November 11, 2018
The Jackson Free Press noted that there have been multiple suspected lynchings in the state in the last 20 years, including an incident this year in which a man was found hanging from a tree outside of his mother’s home.
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.@cindyhydesmith’s shameful remarks prove once again how Trump has created a climate that normalizes hateful, racist rhetoric from political candidates. We’ve seen this from Rob DeSantis & others this election season & denounce such mean spirited behavior. https://t.co/nkuwz7svG1
— Derrick Johnson (@DerrickNAACP) November 11, 2018
Hold up. Hold up. Stop EVERYTHING.
A sitting United States Senator, IN MISSISSIPPI just said “If he invited me to a public hanging I’d be on the front row.”
She just said this in the heart of lynching country.
SHE’S RUNNING AGAINST A BLACK MAN!
— Shaun King (@shaunking) November 11, 2018
Cindy Hyde-Smith was born in 1959. Public executions aren’t part of the history of Mississippi in her lifetime. Lynchings are.
— Angus Johnston (@studentactivism) November 11, 2018
Lynchings and executions of Black people formed a system of racial terror that was pervasive in Mississippi and across the South. Cindy Hyde-Smith knows this which makes her remarks reprehensible and vile.
We must resist attempts to drag our country back into the Jim Crow era. https://t.co/m4lfgxpo2u
— Kristen Clarke ☎️866-OUR-VOTE (@KristenClarkeJD) November 11, 2018