Cindy Hyde-Smith’s ‘public hanging’ joke draws Twitter backlash, response from Espy

Lester Mason
November 12, 2018

Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) joking about a "public hanging", a comment she says is being taken out of context.

Mike Espy, Hyde-Smith's opponent in the upcoming November 27 runoff election sent out a statement late Sunday afternoon regarding the video.

Hyde-Smith herself released a statement in her defense, claiming she was speaking in exaggerations when she said that if the cattle rancher she was campaigning with had "invited me to a public hanging, I'd be on the front row".

"I referred to accepting an invitation to a speaking engagement", Hyde-Smith said in a statement, obtained by The Associated Press. She said it was an "exaggerated expression of regard" for the individual who had invited her to speak and "any attempt to turn this into a negative connotation is ridiculous".

The NAACP, the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization, disagreed with such a characterization and Derrick Johnson, the group's president, denounced Hyde-Smith's comments as "sick". According to the Equal Justice Initiative, 654 lynchings of black people were carried out within its borders, dramatically more than any other state.

The video was acquired by the publisher of a Louisiana news site, the Bayou Brief, from the person who had filmed it.


Hyde-Smith was appointed to the post by Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant after former-U.S. Sen.

Hyde-Smith received 41.5 percent of the vote and Espy earned 40.6 in Tuesday's special election.

"Cindy Hyde-Smith's comments are reprehensible", he said. The victor gets the final two years of a term started by longtime Republican Sen.

Here's what else Twitter users are saying about Hyde-Smith's remark. "Any politician seeking to serve as a national voice of the people of MS should know better".

"That comment about "a public hanging" is much ado about nothing", said Scott Brewster of Brandon, who is white. Some clapping is audible on the video after the comment was made.

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.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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