Nooses Appear At Mississippi Capitol In Apparent Protest Of Senatorial Candidate's Lynching Joke
They were accompanied by signs written in red, black and green ink.
November 27, 2018 at 9:19 pm
Seven nooses were found at Mississippi’s State Capitol building a day before the Senate runoff.
The nooses were discovered on Monday along with handwritten signs referring to the Senate race, according to The Associated Press.
One of the signs read: “On Tuesday, November 27th, thousands of Mississippians will vote for a Senator. We need someone who respects lives of lynching victims.”
Republican candidate and incumbent Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith recently sparked controversy after she joked about lynching while she complimented one her supporters.
“If he invited me to a public hanging, I’d be on the front row,” she said. After an initial refusal to apologize, Hyde-Smith later claimed the comment was an “exaggerated expression of regard” and apologized “to anyone that was offended.”
Another one explained the reasoning behind the protest.
“We’re hanging nooses to remind people that times haven’t changed,” it said.
The signs were written with red, black and green ink, reports ABC News. There were also signs referring to Emmett Till, and Mississippi has the highest number of lynchings between 1882 and 1968. One even mentioned Willie Jones Jr., a Black man who was found hanging from a tree outside his child’s mother’s house in February. The death was ruled a suicide, but his family believes his interracial relationship might have contributed to his demise, reports the Jackson Free Press.
The presence of the nooses drew scathing commentary from several officials.
Melissa Scallan, a spokeswoman for Hyde-Smith, expressed her displeasure.
“Obviously, this behavior is offensive and has no place in a civilized society,” she said.
U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst released a statement vowing to catch those responsible for the act.
“With our law enforcement partners, we are actively looking into these acts of hate and intimidation,” U.S. Hurst said. “Let me be perfectly clear — there is absolutely no place in our state for these unacceptable symbols or tactics to intimidate others. If we find evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that a federal crime has occurred, these criminals will be swiftly prosecuted.”
The Mississippi Department of Public Safety believes the nooses were a group effort.
"In the early hours of Monday morning, authorities believe several suspects were responsible for posting the signs shown here on the lawn of the Mississippi State Capitol building, along with several nooses," the department said in a statement. "DPS will make public more information on this incident as it becomes available in order to help ID these individuals."
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