Nooses hanging from trees and hateful signs were found at the Mississippi State Capitol early Monday morning, just a day before a runoff election to decide whether a black man will hold a Senate seat in the state for the first time since 1883.
Chuck McIntosh, a spokesman for the state Department of Finance and Administration, which oversees the capitol, said the nooses and signs were found on Monday shortly before 8am, on the south side of the grounds. Cindy Hyde-Smith, who is in a runoff Tuesday against Democrat Mike Espy.
Mississippi's past of racist violence became a dominant theme after a video showed Hyde-Smith praising a supporter in early November by saying, "If he invited me to a public hanging, I'd be on the front row". MS is preparing for a U.S. Senate runoff Tuesday between Republican Sen.
Hyde-Smith has campaigned as an unwavering supporter of President Donald Trump, who campaigned with her on Monday, praising her at a rally in the northeastern MS city of Tupelo for voting to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.
Espy denied the charge and said, "We all know what came out of your mouth".
"She stood up to the Democrat smear machine", Trump said. "We need someone who respects lives of lynching victims", one sign read.
She said the hanging remark was an "exaggerated expression of regard" for the supporter, but the remarks drew sharp criticism in a state with a 38% black population. She later apologized for the comment.
Such donations have come under fire due to Hyde-Smith's recent comments and actions making jokes out of lynchings and glorifying Confederate history.
Adams says the entire country will be affected by the outcome of this election, especially since President Trump needs all the Republican Senate votes he can get for future Supreme Court nominations.
A video of Ms Hyde-Smith apparently encouraging voter suppression also emerged on Twitter.
It says MS had 581 lynching during that time, the highest number of any state. The former congressman was agriculture secretary under President Bill Clinton. The Mississippi lawmaker has since said her comment was made in jest and denied any racial connotation. I won't tell Major League Baseball what it should do, but having experience with campaign committees, I'll say that this is the sort of thing people get fired over when public-facing businesses are involved or, at the very least, something for which they offer full explanations and apologies.