Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith doesn't have a lot to say since declaring on Nov. 2 she'd happily be in the "front row of a public hanging" if one her dear supporters invited her. That she happens to be fighting Mike Espy (a Black man) for a seat in the US Senate to represent Mississippi made her comments even more despicable. Predictably (or maybe not, given the state of things in this nation, since Mango Mussolini barged into the political spotlight) people expressed outrage at the blatant and despicable racism in her gleeful declaration.
Today, standing next to Governor Phil Bryant, and in front of a flag that bore the symbol of the Confederacy, members of the press asked her a number of questions. She answered each question with, "I put out a statement yesterday. I stand by that statement, and that's all I'm going to say about it." Five times in the first 45 seconds of the above clip. Each time to a different question asked by a different reporter.
Good questions, too, like, "Can you expand on why that wasn't racist?" "Are you aware of Mississippi's history of lynching?" "Can you explain why it shouldn't be viewed negatively?" "Is that phrasing in your every-day lingo?"
All answered with "I put out a statement yesterday. I stand by that statement, and that's all I'm going to say about it."
At that point, the reporters turned to the Governor, having obviously determined Hyde-Smith was useless, and began to ask him probing questions about how he would respond to people who are looking for answers — particularly the huge Black population of Mississippi — regarding her comments, when all she will say is that she put out a statement yesterday.
Bryant answered...get this..."I think she's addressing the fact that [I hope you're sitting down] she put out a statement yesterday..."
Then he went on with the usual victim blaming, and "intent matters more than impact" BS: "Hey, we all make mistakes when we speak, hell we're out here making all these speeches! We're bound to screw up!" "She meant no offense!" "I know her heart!" "People can spin it how they want!" (That was my fave...is there a nice way to spin that?)
Then Bryant, in an attempt to talk about how sensitive he is to race relations there in Mississippi, switched to abortion, of all things. Wha??? Yep. In the ultimate deflection, he pulled the right-wingnut's favorite ploy. Trying to make you think he cares about Black people by lying about abortion.
Today, I talked about the genocide of over 20 million Africen-American children. In my heart, I am confused about where the outrage is at about 20 million African-American children that have been aborted. No one wants to say anything about that. No one wants to talk about that.
Oh, rrreeeeeaaaallllllyyyyyyyy? Dear Governor Bryant. The abortion rates among African-Americans has steadily dropped over the last 10 years, per the Guttmacher Institute. In 2014 According to the CDC, just over 141,000 Black women had abortions in 2014. And the numbers continue to decline. Where's your 20 million number coming from?
Furthermore, if you TRULY cared about preventing abortions in the African-American communities, wouldn't you do everything you could to make sure they had things like: access to sex education; affordable, safe birth control; affordable pre-natal care; mandatory paid parental leave? And wouldn't you also ensure programs like Head Start and Universal Pre-K were in place to give them the best start in life?
Don't pretend the abortion argument is one you can use to act like you give a good goddamn about Black people, Governor. You, and the racist you appointed Senator, have make it abundantly clear how you feel about them. You don't want Black women to have control of their bodies and reproductive lives, and the Senator wouldn't mind watching a Black man hang. You made your statements. You're standing by them.
If you were truly sensitive to the needs of Black people in your state, you'd pay attention to the Jackson area ministers, and insist Hyde-Smith do what they're demanding she do: apologize and resign.