Donald Trump traveled to Tupelo, Mississippi Monday to endorse Republican senator Cindy Hyde-Smith a day before a runoff election pitting Hyde-Smith against Democrat Mike Espy.
And the racists responsible for hanging from trees at the State Capitol building seven nooses and hate signs referring to Mississippi’s history of lynchings and the special election made sure the president had a hero’s welcome.
Referring to Tuesday’s election, one sign read:
“We need someone who respects the lives of lynch victims.”
“We’re hanging nooses to remind people that times haven’t changed.”
Earlier this month, Hyde-Smith made national headlines when she said about a local supporter, “If he invited me to a public hanging, I’d be on the front row.”
The fact that her opponent is African American in a state once known as the lynching capital of the United States makes that statement all the more inflammatory.
According to the NAACP, between 1882 and 1968, there were 581 lynchings in Mississippi out of a total 4,743 nationwide, the highest anywhere in the country.
It is where Emmett Till was murdered in 1955.
It is where, in 1963, a gunman assassinated NAACP director Medgar Evers outside his home.
It is where civil rights workers James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner were arrested and handed over to Klansmen who shot and buried them.
Nonetheless, Cindy Hyde-Smith, who graduated from an all-white segregationist high school, recently posed for pictures with Confederate artifacts wearing a Confederate Army cap and brandishing a vintage rifle and sword.
Some Mississippi Republicans have publicly rejected Cindy Hyde-Smith and committed to voting for Espy.
Still, it can’t be denied in Trump’s ‘Merica the racist dog whistle has graduated to a bullhorn.
One day after US border patrol agents used tear gas against asylum seekers running toward the border crossing between Tijuana, Mexico and San Diego, Trump said at the first of his two Mississippi rallies:
“We don’t want those people in Mississippi. I’m sorry…We send a strong message to the caravans and the trespassers: Turn around, go back home.”
This is where we are today.
While Donald Trump praises the assault on reporters in the wake of journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s murder, Republicans recruit white supremacist and neo-Nazi gangs to threaten or assault Democrats and supporters.
And the president of the United States is rolling back the clock.
Remember this in 2020.
Image credit: Wikimedia Commons