Monday, November 12, 2018


Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith of Mississippi believes she's being misunderstood:
A newly published video shows a white Republican U.S. senator in Mississippi praising someone by saying: "If he invited me to a public hanging, I'd be on the front row."

... The video ... shows a small group of white people clapping politely for Hyde-Smith after a cattle rancher introduced her.

"I referred to accepting an invitation to a speaking engagement," said Hyde-Smith ... in a statement Sunday. "In referencing the one who invited me, I used an exaggerated expression of regard, and any attempt to turn this into a negative connotation is ridiculous."

Mike Espy, Hyde-Smith's opponent in the runoff, was the first black person since Reconstruction to win a House seat from Mississippi.

I'll give Hyde-Smith this much: She's saying she'd do even unpleasant things for the man who invited her. You can tell from the first part of the clip. Her words are hard to hear, but what she seems to say about the man who invited her is this:
I would fight a circle saw for him.
I'm a Yankee and Id never encountered that expression before, but it's real. Here are a few places where it shows up.

Fighting a circle saw doesn't sound like very much fun, so if you say you'd do it for another person, and you'd also attend a hanging if that person invited you, you're not saying you'd enjoy a hanging -- you're saying you'd attend one because that person asked you to.

But to state the obvious, Hyde-Smith is making a joke out of the real pain of other people, most of them black in her state, who were publicly hanged by lynch mobs and, occasionally, by legally constituted authorities in recent history. Imagine if she'd said, "I'd restock the showers with Zyklon-B if he asked me to." Those would not be considered lighthearted words of praise.

But here we are again. An oblivious Republican has said something truly offensive and Red America will come to her defense, saying we're just being hypersensitive or "politcally correct." We'll never persuade the other side that Hyde-Smith crossed a line, and it doesn't matter that she was saying she'd find it unpleasant to watch a brutal death.

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