Mayor Bill de Blasio address a 12th grade English class at Boys and Girls High School in the Brooklyn. Photo: Bebeto Matthews/AP/REX/Shutterstock In the weeks before her election on November 27, Cindy Hyde-Smith looked vulnerable. Not enough, perhaps, to scuttle her chances at winning: She was a white Republican, after all, running for U.S. Senate against a black Democrat in Mississippi, with the country’s least-elastic electorate all but guaranteeing a 60-40 split in her favor. But the knocks against her were damning, and there seemed to be new ones every week. She joked about public hangings and suppressing unfavorable votes in a state where white supremacists once made a pastime of lynching black people to deter them from voting. She wore a Confederate soldier’s hat and described it on Facebook as “Mississippi history at its best!” And in arguably the most flagrant example of her ties to the state’s racist history, local reporters found she had attended an all-white “segregation academy” as a teenager — and sent her daughter to one years later. The last two were framed as especially scandalous. They seemed deeper-rooted, more fundamental to Hyde-Smith’s character than the racist tongue-slips that had preceded them. The Jackson Free… Read full this story
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