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Black MS candidate explains why GOP opponent’s joke about ‘public hanging’ is ‘harmful’ in a state known for lynchings

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A black Mississippi senator on Monday explained why newly-uncovered comments by his white Republican opponent joking about attending a “public hanging” are so hurtful in a state known for its history of lynchings.

While praising a rancher during a November 2 campaign stop, US Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith said that if the man standing with her “invited me to a public hanging, I’d be in the front row.”

As Ashton Pittman of the Jackson Free Press noted, Hyde-Smith’s Democratic opponent Mike Espy is the state’s “first black congressman since Reconstruction.” Pittman also noted that Mississippi was the state with the most lynchings between 1877-1950.

MSNBC’s Chris Matthews noted that in response to the comments going viral, the senator who was appointed by the state’s governor in April 2018 after the resignation of longtime Sen. Thad Cochran said she “used an exaggerated expression of regard” and that “any attempt to turn this into a negative connotation is ridiculous.”

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“I have to confess to you,” Espy told the MSNBC host. “I’ve never heard that time of colloquialism.”

The former Agriculture secretary under President Bill Clinton said Hyde-Smith’s comments were not only “disappointing to millions of Mississippians of good will,” but also were “very harmful.”

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“It again reinforces stereotypes that we’ve been trying to get away from for decades,” he said. “Stereotypes that just continue to harm our economy and costs us jobs.”

“I can’t reach into her heart and determine why that came out of her mouth,” Espy said. “But it was wrong.”

The former congressman noted that he sits on the board of directors at the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum and knows “that history very well.”

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“It’s got a lynching or public hanging exhibit, and it’s visceral and it’s sobering,” Espy said. “You just — when you go through that, it’s got a list of every Mississippian from Reconstruction through the mid ’60s that were lynched and it’s got their name and the allegations, you know, for that punishment.”

“These comments from a sitting U.S. senator have harmed our state and it’s just — you know, we have to get beyond this now,” he added. “It’s 2018. We’re now going into the third decade of our 21st century. It’s time-out for these type of comments, throwback comments.”

Watch below via MSNBC:

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Meghan McCain snaps at Sunny Hostin for daring to disagree with her about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

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Meghan McCain slammed President Donald Trump for hurling racist abuse at four Democratic congresswomen to heighten divisions in his rival party, and then framed the debate in the exact same way he has.

The conservative co-host on "The View" condemned the president's statements urging the four first-year lawmakers to return to their home countries as racist, and then complained that one of their chiefs of staff had accused moderate Democrats of turning a blind eye to racism.

"I think the politics of this is fascinating," McCain began. "We spent our entire week last week talking about how racist and xenophobic the original comments and the chants were, and I stand by that statement."

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Here’s the insidious role Sean Hannity played in derailing Al Franken’s political career

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The U.S. Senate lost one of its most prominent liberals when Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota, dogged by sexual harassment allegations, announced his resignation in December 2017. Some of Franken’s defenders believed the Democratic Party was too quick to throw him under the bus; other Democrats stressed that in light of the #MeToo movement, his resignation was absolutely necessary. Franken’s political downfall is the subject of an in-depth report by the New Yorker’s Jane Mayer, who describes — among many other things — the role that Fox News’ Sean Hannity played in the media firestorm.

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The media got it wrong: There’s no evidence GOP support for Trump improved after his racist outburst

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One of the most popular articles last week involved claims that polls showed Republicans had increased their support of President Trump.  But a closer analysis of the data reveals that any increase in support was within the margin of error.  So the polls couldn’t conclude that GOP support for President Trump had gone up or down.

Polls are tricky creatures.  We either give them near god-like status, or discount them entirely, often depending on whether they show us what we want.

I remember the movie “Machete,” where an opportunistic Texas politician fakes his own shooting.  Within five minutes of that story breaking, the news anchor reported that the politician had drastically improved his standing in the polls.  Surveys don’t work that way.

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