/Nooses at Capitol intended as critique of racism, Hyde-Smith ‘hanging’ apology

Nooses at Capitol intended as critique of racism, Hyde-Smith ‘hanging’ apology

Although media outlets both local and national referred to the signs as hate signs, the demonstration was actually a criticism of recent events surrounding this election. According to Chuck McIntosh (spokesman for the Mississippi Department of Finance), one sign states, “We’re hanging Nooses to remind people That times haven’t changed.” Another sign criticised Cindy Hyde Smith, the incumbent Republican U.S. Senator, for her “public hanging” gaffe. Some opponents called it lukewarm or insincere. “On Tuesday, November 27th, thousands of Mississippians are going to vote for a senator. A third sign stated that we need someone who is respectful of the lives and sufferings of lynching victims. Republican state officials and leaders are now promising to pursue those responsible for “acts of hatred and intimidation”. They found five signs and two nooses attached to trees on the South side. The items were discovered by Capitol Police, which is the agency that patrols the Mississippi State Capitol grounds. The signs were removed by officers shortly after they were discovered. After a widely circulated story about the “hate signs” that were attached to the nooses, officials did not release the descriptions of the signs until Monday morning. McIntosh stated that the Mississippi Department of Public Safety had posted photos of the signs on Facebook just before three o’clock in the afternoon. “I don’t know how it got such traction that they are hate signs.” “An almost every reporter I spoke to asked, Are these hate sign?'” Law enforcement continued to review surveillance footage Monday afternoon as part the investigation. Governor Phil Bryant released a statement to WLBT. Phil Bryant stated that the perpetrators will be identified and prosecuted to their full extent. I have reached out to the Department of Public Safety as well as the Federal Bureau of Investigation in order to obtain assistance. Two other signs refer the Emmett Till lynching in 1955 by two white men. The 2018 death of Willie Jones Jr. was also mentioned. He was found hanging from a tree near Forest, Miss. Video footage that captured Hyde-Smith’s remarks about public hangings has made the state’s Nov. 27, Senate election more interesting in recent weeks. Hyde-Smith expressed her admiration for a constituent at a campaign event in November and said she would be in the “front row” at a public hanging if he asked. Nine days after her remarks surfaced, Hyde Smith apologized to anyone who was offended. Her opponent, Democrat Mike Espy immediately replied: “I don’t know what’s in your heart but we all know what went out of your mouth.” One week later, someone attached a sign outside the statehouse reading: “We want leaders that offer honest apologies, and can be humble enough admit when they’re wrong !!!! “Yes, sir!” Espy declined comment and Mississippi Today is still waiting for a response from the Hyde Smith campaign. “We don’t know what message they were trying send. Danny Blanton, Espy spokesperson, stated that at this stage we are only focused on getting people out and voting. Blanton said that the election is not about division, regardless of rhetoric or iconography. State Rep. Omeria, D-Laurel, ran in the June U.S. Senate Democratic Primary to challenge Republican U.S. Senator Roger Wicker. Scott stated that Mississippi’s past makes it seem like the state “pays a much higher price” for incidents such as these. Meg Annison, the spokesperson for Speaker Philip Gunn, said that Gunn condemned these acts as well as Lt. Governor. Tate Reeves issued a statement condemning the act and promising to find the responsible. Hurst added that there is no place in the state for such unacceptable symbols and tactics to intimidate other people. These criminals will be quickly prosecuted and held responsible if we find sufficient evidence to prove that a federal crime occurred. Let us all take responsibility for these crimes by voting, working, raising families, practicing faith, and living in harmony with each other. Mississippi Today reached out to Phil Bryant for comment but he did not respond. Longtime Rep. Steve Holland (D-Plantersville) stated that “there is no place in society anymore for this kind of thing.” It is very harmful and detrimental to the goodwill of Mississippi and its progress, regardless of who does it. It’s not a positive thing and it’s cruel joke if it’s true. Hyde-Smith isn’t the only public official to make reference to public hangings in recent times. Rep. Karl Oliver (R-Winona) was criticized last year for suggesting that Louisiana leaders be “LYNCHED!” in order to remove Confederate monuments public spaces. The Mississippi state leaders, which saw the most lynchings from 1882 to 1968, condemned Oliver’s words. State Senator Charles Younger (R-Columbus) defended Hyde-Smith Sunday and expressed his support for public hanging of criminals as a crime-deterrent. Younger was reached Monday afternoon, shortly after Mississippi Today published his comments. Younger did not know of the incident. He said, “You’ve got the right to be kidding me.” That’s crazy. That’s stupid. It could be someone else doing it to make Senator Cindy Hyde Smith look bad…. Nobody in their right mind would do something that stupid.” Scott stated that surveillance cameras can capture activity at Capitol grounds and that he expects that this will lead to a suspect. Scott stated that he hoped that there was no underlying problem in the state. Scott stated that “We are last in all things and it’s difficult for us compete with other states. It makes it very difficult to try and present to people that 2018 is a good year.”