Mississippi’s GOP governor warns of ‘1000 years of darkness’ if state elects black senator

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant is warning of a dire situation if Democrat Mike Espy beats Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith in the 2020 Senate race. Mississippi is a deeply red state but Espy performed well when he ran against Hyde-Smith in the 2018 special election, winning 46 percent of the vote.

Should Espy beat Hyde-Smith in the upcoming election, he’ll be Mississippi’s “first black Senator in over 139 years,” journalist Joe Jurado notes in a story for The Root.

Bryant supports reelecting Hyde-Smith and said so in a January 2 tweet.

“I intend to work for @cindyhydsmith as if the fate of America depended on her single election,” he tweeted. “If Mike Espy and the liberal Democrats gain the Senate, we will take that first step into 1000 years of darkness.”

Hyde-Smith, a cattle rancher, sparked controversy in 2018 when she supported a fellow cattle rancher by saying “If he invited me to a public hanging, I’d be on the front row,” Jurado noted, adding this is was a terrible choice of words considering Mississippi’s racist history of lynching African-Americans.

“Mississippi has a very long and very violent history of racism: 600 black people were lynched between 1877 to 1950, the most of any state,” Jurado writes. “Up until 2017, the state still had predominantly segregated schools. This makes it all the more unsurprising that the governor believes Mike Espy being elected to the Senate would open the doors of Guf and bring about the fourth impact. We’re talking about the same man who, after Hyde-Smith came under fire for lynching comments, went on a podium and compared black women getting abortions to genocide. Hyperbolic racism just seems to be this dude’s go-to.”

Jurado found Bryant’s “1000 years of darkness” was an “interesting word choice when describing the consequences of Mississippi electing its first black senator in over 139 years,” and “even more interesting when you realize he’s doing this in support of Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith.”

“Remember her?” he writes. “She was the lady that said she would be front row at a public lynching.”

But Espy, he notes, has an excellent “track record.”

“Espy previously ran in the runoff election in 2018 where Hyde-Smith was initially elected. Espy was an elected congressman from 1987-1993 when President Clinton appointed him to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture. Hyde-Smith, on the other hand, is just another racist.”

Featured image via screen grab

Megan Hamilton

Megan Hamilton has traveled extensively throughout the Southern United States, Mexico, and parts of Central America. A lifelong atheist, these travels have informed her political views. She currently lives in a remote location with a large herd of cats and four dogs.