Video shot by a local radio broadcaster caught Republican Mississippi state Rep. Bubba Carpenter using racial language to suggest to fellow Republicans that a ballot initiative to improve education was actually a plot to fund black schools at a cost to white schools.
The Clarion-Ledger reported that Carpenter was filmed by WMRG while speaking to the Tishomingo County Midway Republican Rally about the danger of Initiative 42, which would give a Hinds County judge control of school funding if the Mississippi legislature failed to lift the state from its last place national ranking on education.
According to the Clarion-Ledger, Republicans in the state had been using the phrase "Hinds County judge" as a racial dog whistle because the county is predominately black and has two female black judges.
But Carpenter dropped the coded language in a plea to defeat the initiative.
"If 42 passes in its form, a judge in Hinds County, Mississippi, predominantly black — it's going to be a black judge — they're going to tell us where the state education money goes," the lawmaker warned. "So what's he going to do? '[Predominately white] Tishomingo County, you've got a little bit of extra money, we're going to take a little bit of that -- I can see the happening, it may not, but I can see it -- we're going to help [schools in predominately black] Rolling Fork because they don't have as good a tax base as you guys do, so we're going take a little bit of that money and we're going to to transition it to Rolling Fork.'"
Carpenter promised the crowd that Gov. Phil Bryant and other top Republicans would "tell you the same thing."
"There it is, folks," the Clarion-Ledger's Sam Hall wrote. "Let's all thank Bubba Carpenter for saying what he means and illustrating to the world the filthy rhetoric that still passes for political discourse by some here."
Watch the video below from WMRG, uploaded Oct. 18, 2015.