White Republican Mississippi Senator Jokes About ‘Public Hanging’

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A video of Mississippi senator, Cindy Hyde-Smith making a strange “joke” has surfaced and it’s not a good situation. In the name of history, in the name of fighting racism, in the name of women in positions of power–this is a real bummer, Cindy. Hasn’t she ever heard the phrase, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all?”

Many understood the comment to have a link to lynching and the state’s history of racial violence. Between 1882 and 1968, 581 lynchings took place in Mississippi, the most of any state in that period, according to the NAACP.

Shortly after the remark gained traction, Hyde-Smith released a statement saying she “referred to accepting an invitation to a speaking engagement” and “used an exaggerated expression of regard.”

“Any attempt to turn this into a negative connotation is ridiculous,” she added.