Yesterday (November 27), 53.9 percent of folks who went to the polls for a runoff election chose to send Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith back to the United States Senate to represent the state of Mississippi. The problem: Hyde-Smith did little to conceal her racism during her campaign against Black candidate Mike Espy, leading many to wonder if there has been much progress in the state.
Hyde-Smith was appointed to the seat earlier this year when Thad Cochran resigned; yesterday’s election made her the state’s first woman elected to the Senate.
Earlier this month, she laughingly told a crowd assembled in the state that historically hosted the nation’s most lynchings of Black people that if invited, she would be “on the front row” at “a public hanging.” When called out for the comments, she said the critique was “ridiculous,” per Jackson Free Press.
“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.— Lamar White, Jr. (@LamarWhiteJr) November 11, 2018
Hyde-Smith is in a runoff on Nov 27th against Mike Espy. pic.twitter.com/0a9jOEjokr
Espy tweeted about the results of the election last night, vowing to keep fighting for the people of Mississippi, 37.8 percent of whom are Black.
While this is not the result we were hoping for, I am proud of the historic campaign we ran and grateful for the support we received across Mississippi.— Mike Espy (@espyforsenate) November 28, 2018
We built the largest grassroots organization our state has seen in a generation, through a coalition of voters who shared our belief that Mississippi’s future will be brighter than our past.— Mike Espy (@espyforsenate) November 28, 2018
Make no mistake—tonight is the beginning, not the end. When this many people show up, stand up, and speak up, it is not a loss. It is a moment. It is a movement.— Mike Espy (@espyforsenate) November 28, 2018
And we are not going to stop moving our state forward just because of one election. I look forward to finding new ways to do just that.— Mike Espy (@espyforsenate) November 28, 2018
The results prompted many to question what it will take to create real change in Mississippi.
Cindy Hyde-Smith said she’d be in the front row of a public hanging…in a state whose history is full of public lynchings of black folk.— Khary Penebaker, Fx (@kharyp) November 28, 2018
She “joked” about voter suppression & likened women to dogs.
None of that was disqualifying to voters.
Mississippi Goddam. pic.twitter.com/4PDZDLwwCd
Cindy Hyde-Smith defeated Mike Epsy in Mississippi for senator.— Frederick Joseph (@FredTJoseph) November 28, 2018
Cindy attended a segregation academy for high school and sent her daughter there. She has also said things such as public lynchings would help deter crime.
Don’t say this isn’t America, here racism is patriotism. pic.twitter.com/C9110dgrOM
The message tonight is clear — people like me don’t matter in this state. Since that’s the case, my dollars don’t matter either, and that’s where true power lies.— Angie Thomas (@angiecthomas) November 28, 2018
#Republicans don’t want to be identified as racists, but they keep electing racists like @cindyhydesmith. Don’t ask me to reconcile good people electing inhumane leadership. It doesn’t make sense. But, racists electing racists? That make sense. #Mississippi— Colleen Ely (@Colleen_Ely) November 28, 2018