/Espy places race at center of Senate campaign How will Hyde-Smith respond

Espy places race at center of Senate campaign How will Hyde-Smith respond

Espy claims that Cindy Hyde-Smith is keeping us back and hurting our state. The ad, which was released Monday morning, focuses on Espy’s personal experiences with racism. Cindy Hyde Smith is trying to drag us back to the worst of Mississippi’s past with her talk about public hangings and glorifying Confederate symbol, Espy said. This comes after millions took to the streets and ballot boxes earlier this year to protest racism and injustice in government. It has been a central issue in almost every federal election cycle, despite the fact that race has always been a key political issue, even in a state such as Mississippi with its history of racism violence. Mississippi has been impacted by the national Black Lives Matter movement in significant and historic ways. After decades of debate and fear, lawmakers voted in June to take down the state flag. It had been in use for 126 years. Local government officials have removed Confederate iconography throughout the state, including statues and building names as well as nicknames. Although a win in ruby-red Mississippi is still elusive for Democrats in the state, Espy’s prospects for 2020 Senate election are becoming more appealing in this national moment. Espy is a Black candidate who has broken racial barriers and will be challenging a white incumbent with a questionable past on race. In 2018, Espy faced off against Hyde-Smith in the special election to replace the term of late Senator Thad Cochran. Videos of Hyde Smith saying that she would attend a public hanging emerged late in the campaign. This suggested that some young people should not be allowed to vote. A 2014 photo of Hyde Smith posing with Confederate artifacts was also released late in the campaign. As a result of the three-week-long runoff between the candidates, Espy received a lot of money and national corporations publicly requested that Hyde-Smith return any campaign contributions. Hyde-Smith still won the race by eight votes. Espy, for his part, says that he is aware of where he can improve on his 2018 results. Espy believes that he must attract historically Black voters and win moderately educated white voters to win this November. Espy unveiled a new campaign strategy Monday morning. Espy shares powerful stories about race in a two-minute video ad that he has not shared publicly. Espy was elected as the state’s first Black congressman after Reconstruction. He is also the nation’s only Black secretary to agriculture. Espy also spoke out about the racism he encountered with his twin sister and 18 other Black students during the integration of Yazoo City High School. Espy states in the ad that he was subject to harassment every day. Teachers sprayed me with fire extinguishers — teachers. Students called me the N-word so often that I sometimes thought it was my middle title. Espy’s new strategy was a diversion from his 2018 campaign. Two years ago, Espy tried to avoid too much focus on race while on the trail. His efforts to attract white moderate voters was criticised by pundits. They were largely uninspired and he failed to meet internal targets for Black voter participation. Espy is not shying away from race this year, unlike in the past two years. In a T-shirt from his 1986 campaign, Espy attended a downtown Jackson June Black Lives Matter protest. His campaign hosted a virtual fundraiser alongside Stacey Abrams (a native Mississippian who narrowly lost in the 2018 Georgia governor’s race) and is now one of the most prolific Black political figures in the country. U.S. Senator Cory Booker, a Black senator, sent an email to Espy last week with the subject line “The first Black senator of Mississippi since Reconstruction.” Espy also sent a fundraising message that boosted Raphael Warnock’s candidacy for the U.S. Senate. Espy wrote: “We believe two Black men can become U.S. senators from Mississippi and Georgia. Hyde-Smith’s campaign has been silent on many issues this year, including race. The debate about removing the state flag heated last month. Hyde-Smith, an incumbent U.S. senator, ignored reporters for several days before becoming one of the few elected officials in the state to make a public comment. Hyde-Smith made her first statement about the matter on June 11. She said: “I value the opinions of all Mississippians, and hope to continue Mississippi’s forward momentum.” If the people of Mississippi, their elected leaders, decide to start the process of finding an unifying banner that better represents all Mississippians, and the progress we’ve made as a state and state, I would support that effort.” Hyde Smith raised less this cycle than any other Senate incumbent who isn’t retiring. Many pundits believe that her 2018 controversial comments are what has led to her current fundraising difficulties. Many major national political action commissions that gave to Hyde Smith in 2018 have not reduced checks to her campaign this year