/Tate Reeves speaks on blackface, racism and his Confederate-group associations

Tate Reeves speaks on blackface, racism and his Confederate-group associations

The photos show Kappa Alpha members wearing face paint and dressing like native tribesmen in the photos. This controversy follows similar photos of the fraternity to whom Democratic Attorney General Jim Hood belonged at University of Mississippi, and the revelation of Democratic Virginia Governor. Ralph Northam’s yearbook page for the medical school shows two men in blackface and one in Klan regalia. Confederate reverence is a long-standing tradition at Mississippi colleges and universities. Hood said Monday that he didn’t know anything about the photo and claimed that he had never worn blackface or Klan regalia. Reeves was the Republican Party’s top candidate for governor. Below are his verbatim answers to reporters’ questions and audio of his conversation with the media. Associated Press: Governor have you ever wore blackface? Reeves (I have not). Associated Press: Have any of you ever won a KKK or similar costume? Reeves, I have never. Associated Press: Did you wear Confederate attire for Old South events when you were a KA? Reeves said: I was a Kappa Alpha member. Although we had a Friday statement that touched upon that, I believe most of you have known this for many years. We are here today because a liberal, Democrat group from Washington, D.C. that does opposition research did research on me and reported that story to Huffington Post. It’s unlikely, I believe, that they believed the most likely Democrat nominee to be governor would get involved in the controversy. That is exactly what happened. I hate racism because it’s how I was raised and that’s also the way that I’ve governed as lieutenant governor. Mississippi Today: “Have y’all ever worn any hooded or robe like …”? Reeves interrupting: How many more questions are you going to ask? I’ve answered every question you have asked. Clarion Ledger – Do you feel that this is the end? Reeves says: Only y’all can make that decision now. You’re the ones who are writing the story on the fifth day. I can confirm that yesterday’s attorney general stated that we should be judged on the policies we believe in. His speech yesterday, in which he stated that Mississippi had been struggling since William Winter was governor, is something I disagreed with. He clearly believes that Kirk Fordice was elected as the governor of Mississippi. Evidently, he believes that the election of Haley Barbour to be Mississippi’s governor was a stumbling block. Evidently, he believes that Mississippi was in trouble when Phil Bryant was elected governor. While I might expect this from leftist groups in Washington, D.C. or from some Hollywood liberals, we deserve better from our attorney General. Mississippi needs elected officials that will be focused on the progress being made in this state. The fact that unemployment has fallen to an all-time low and the fact that there are more people employed than ever is a sign of this. The attorney general is wrong. Mississippi isn’t in a rut; it is actually growing. Mississippi’s economy continues to grow. Mississippi’s economy is growing well. While we have more work ahead of us, the attorney general is wrong to say that. We are grateful. Mississippi Today: Are you sorry that you were called before the Sons of Confederate Veterans. Reeves said that I spoke to 600-700 people who came to Mississippi. The African American mayor for Vicksburg spoke to the group as well and welcomed them to Mississippi. He also thanked them all for their support of Mississippi. The truth is that Vicksburg’s national park is a popular tourist attraction. Every year, thousands or even thousands of people visit Mississippi. We should look into ways to increase the number of tourists visiting Mississippi. The lieutenant governor has the job and responsibility of welcoming people into our state. We are grateful to you all. Editor’s Note: This question is based on a widely circulated photograph of Reeves at the 2013 Sons of Confederate Veterans Vicksburg event. The photo shows several Confederate battle flags as well as other official symbols representing the Confederacy lining the stage behind and in front of Reeves.