Folks on Twitter aren’t laughing at a sick, racist joke from Mississippi’s GOP U.S. Senator who’s in a runoff election against an African-American opponent.
Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith was caught on video saying, “If he invited me to a public hanging, I’d be on the front row.”
Hyde-Smith made the remark at a Nov. 2 event in Tupelo, Mississippi with cattle rancher Colin Hutchinson, according to the Clarion-Ledger.
Journalist Lamar White Jr. posted the 10-second video clip Sunday morning on social media.
Hyde-Smith was appointed to the Senate in April to replace Republican Sen. Thad Cochran, who retired because of an illness. She will face Democrat Mike Espy in a Nov. 27 runoff election. They finished ahead of a crowded field of candidates in a Nov. 6 special election in which no one won more than 50 percent of the vote.
If Espy wins the runoff election, he will become Mississippi’s first Black senator since Reconstruction. In a tweet, Espy called Hyde-Smith’s lynching joke “reprehensible.”
Here’s what else Twitter users are saying about Hyde-Smith’s remark.
Below is the Espy for Senate Campaign statement on Cindy Hyde-Smith's "public hanging" comments: pic.twitter.com/zccgQelDWt— Mike Espy (@MikeEspyMS) November 11, 2018
Mississippi Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith said recently she'd be "in the front row" of "a public hanging." She's now in a runoff election on Nov. 27 against Mike Espy, a black man.— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) November 11, 2018
This is what it looked like when white people stood in the front rows of public hangings in the past. pic.twitter.com/zIgaI1LH4R
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.— Kristen Clarke (@KristenClarkeJD) November 11, 2018
We must resist attempts to drag our country back into the Jim Crow era. https://t.co/m4lfgxpo2u
.@cindyhydesmith said: “...I used an exaggerated expression of regard, and any attempt to turn this into a negative connotation is ridiculous." @JxnFreePress— Derrick Johnson (@DerrickNAACP) November 12, 2018
This response is tone deaf and demonstrates disregard of MS racial history. https://t.co/GzL6BA57HI
Stumping in Mississippi which has the highest number of “recorded” lynchings of black people, Cindy Hyde-Smith says she’d be in the front row of a public hanging. Folks like Cindy don’t think or care about being implicitly or explicitly racist. https://t.co/zWjS6w19eg— Tami Sawyer 💕💚 (@tamisawyer) November 11, 2018
Senator Hyde-Smith’s remark that she would “be on the front row” of a “public hanging” is repulsive & her flippant disregard for our state’s deep history of inhumanity tied to lynching is incensing. What is worse is her tone-deaf justification for the comment. #VOTE #runoffNov27— Chokwe Antar Lumumba (@ChokweALumumba) November 12, 2018
Mississippi had another Senator to resign for similar comments. Cindy Hyde-Smith...RESIGN!— Tony Yarber (@TonyYarber) November 11, 2018
"If he invited me to a public hanging, I'd be on the front row"- @cindyhydesmith says in Tupelo, MS after Colin Hutchinson, cattle rancher, praises her.— ☇RiotWomenn☇ (@riotwomennn) November 11, 2018
Hyde-Smith is in a runoff on Nov 27th against Mike Espy ... he's black and she's a filthy racist.
Here she is as a child pic.twitter.com/fixvrEQvjR
This is precisely why Mississippi Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith cavalierly making jokes about public hangings and lynchings is a major red flag. 🚩 https://t.co/mhgrAtI4he— Raquel Willis (@RaquelWillis_) November 12, 2018
We are working on a #UnitedShades episode that was filmed in Jackson, MS. Much of it is about how Mississippi isn't exactly what you might think it is. But apparently Mississippi Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith has different thoughts on what you should think about her state. https://t.co/304eCobb3F— W. Kamau Bell (@wkamaubell) November 12, 2018