While many drew comparisons between Hyde-Smith’s comments on attending a public hanging to the ugly history of lynching in Mississippi (and the Senator’s history of endorsing Confederate insignia), Younger argued her comments had nothing to do with race at all. “Public hanging was an execution style,” Younger said. “It wasn’t lynching — it was a public hanging where it had to pass through the courts and it wasn’t a color or a race issue. It was just a means of punishment.” If that weren’t enough, Younger asserted that the antiquated practice may prevent crime today. “Frankly, if [public hanging] was back again I think it would deter a lot of crimes,” he said. During a debate against Espy, Hyde-Smith issued a half-hearted apology for her remarks “For anyone that was offended by my comments, I certainly apologize,” she said. “There was no ill will, no intent whatsoever in my statements.” According to the NAACP, “From 1882-1968, 4,743 lynchings occurred in the United States. Of these people that were lynched 3,446 were Black.” Mississippi, which Hyde-Smith is running to represent, was the scene of the bulk of these extrajudicial killings, with at least 581 occurring in the Magnolia State.
"If he invited me to a public hanging, I'd be on the front row"- Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith says in Tupelo, MS after Colin Hutchinson, cattle rancher, praises her.— Lamar White, Jr. (@LamarWhiteJr) November 11, 2018
Hyde-Smith is in a runoff on Nov 27th against Mike Espy. pic.twitter.com/0a9jOEjokr