Mississippi Republican Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith joked earlier this month that voter suppression is a “good idea,” although voting-rights advocates don’t find her remark funny at all, Huffington Post is reporting.
It appears that on November 3, Hyde-Smith’s campaign bus had stopped at an unidentified college or university in Columbus, Mississippi to rally for votes. Outside of the event, she was caught on camera apparently telling the crowd that she supports voter suppression.
“And then they remind me that there’s a lot of liberal folks in those other schools who maybe we don’t want to vote. Maybe we want to make it just a little more difficult. And I think that’s a great idea.”
Later, after she was called out for making the remark, she claimed it was all in good fun.
“It’s ok to still have a sense of humor in America isn’t it? These students enjoyed a laugh with Cindy despite out of state social media posts trying to mislead Mississippians.”
However, to many, voter suppression is no laughing matter.
For example, Democrat Mike Espy, who will face Hyde-Smith in a November 27 runoff election, failed to see the humor in it, especially considering Mississippi’s unsavory past when it comes to suppressing the votes of blacks.
“For a state like Mississippi, where voting rights were obtained through sweat and blood, everyone should appreciate that this is not a laughing matter. Mississippians deserve a senator who represents our best qualities, not a walking stereotype who embarrasses our state.”
Not just in Mississippi, but in places across the country, some officials have put into place efforts that appear to make it more difficult to vote – and those efforts routinely disenfranchise the poor, blacks, and other minorities – that is, people who are traditionally more likely to vote Democrat.
For example, as The New Yorker reports, Voter ID laws in places such as Florida, Tennessee, and Kentucky have disenfranchised as estimated 20 percent of eligible African American voters.
Meanwhile, this is not the first time Cindy Hyde-Smith has made a remark that raised eyebrows, only to later try to walk back from the remarks.
As the Inquisitr reported last week, Hyde-Smith was caught on video “joking” that she’d like to attend a hanging.
“If he invited me to a public hanging, I’d be on the front row.”
Mississippi has a history of racially-motivated hangings, or lynchings, and as such Hyde-Smith’s remark was seen by some as racist. She later said that her remark was taken out of context.