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Mississippi Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith made a gross comment earlier this month that is both clueless of history and casually racist. On November 2, just before the midterm election, she was at a campaign event with cattle rancher Colin Hutchinson. Demonstrating just how "ride or die" she was for Hutchinson, she boasted, "If he invited me to a public hanging, I'd be on the front row!"

This is an odd statement because public hangings are historically general admission. Maybe she's saying she'd be willing to camp out overnight to ensure she can watch some poor bastard dance at the end of a rope like a common psychopath. She is, of course, un-ironically "100 percent pro-life," because life has value until it's born. Eventually ending that life in a sickening, extrajudicial manner is a pleasant spectator sport. Bring the popcorn.


Mississippi is no stranger to public executions, and women like Hyde-Smith were often in attendance. There were 581 lynchings in the state during the years 1882 to 1968, the highest in the country with Georgia second at 531 and Texas at 493. One of those was Emmett Till in 1955. Although not technically "lynched," Medgar Evers was assassinated in 1963 for his civil rights activism in the state, which helped inspire Nina Simone's powerful anthem, "Mississippi Goddam."

Hyde-Smith's statement takes on a vaguely threatening tone in this context. Her Democratic opponent in the upcoming November 27th run-off is Mike Espy, who is black. In case you don't know any black people, we're still touchy about lynchings, and we still get nervous if we're in the deep South and the power goes out in the evening. That's too much free time and no Netflix to keep white folks chill. Espy didn't care for Hyde-Smith's lynching routine.

"[Hyde-Smith's "reprehensible" comments] have no place in our political discourse, in Mississippi, or our country. We need leaders, not dividers, and her words show that she lacks the understanding and judgment to represent the people of our state."

This is far more measured than my own response, which would be something like, "Lady, are you all the way out of your mind?" But Espy probably doesn't want to wind up personally headlining any public executions in the near future. Here's a fun fact: Hyde-Smith is MIssissippi's first woman senator but if Espy were to win the run-off, he would not be the state's first black senator. The first two black senators ever came from Mississippi. Hiram Rhodes Revels was selected by the state legislature in 1871, and Blanche Kelso Bruce, who was born into slavery, was elected to the Senate in 1874. He even presided over the Senate in 1879. Bruce is the first black politician to receive any votes at a major party's nominating convention when he received eight votes for vice president at the 1880 Republican National Convention. The nominee was James Garfield, who was later assassinated, so had Bruce won, he might've beaten Barack Obama to the punch by well over a century.

Southern Democrats opposed seating Revels in the Senate because they were racist and also some stuff about the 14th Amendment. Republicans mocked them for fighting that "last battlefield" of the Civil War. The more things never change ...

Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner said, "The time has passed for argument. Nothing more need be said. For a long time it has been clear that colored persons must be senators... All men are created equal, says the great Declaration, and now a great act attests this verity. Today we make the Declaration a reality. ... The Declaration was only half established by Independence. The greatest duty remained behind. In assuring the equal rights of all we complete the work.

Wow, we were really moving on up. Then basically Birth of a Nation happened, with the Klan, racial terrorism, and Jim Crow. If you truly study the Reconstruction era, you can appreciate how quickly minorities can fall from unprecedented heights. A black president in 2008 doesn't prevent the election of a white supremacist in 2016. And just because a record number of women are joining Congress next year doesn't mean we still can't wind up the Republic of Gilead.

True to Trump-like form, Hyde-Smith refused to apologize or even admit to a "poor choice of words." She's only running for Senate, she's not a "Saturday Night Live" cast member.

"In a comment on Nov. 2, I referred to accepting an invitation to a speaking engagement. 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."

You'll notice that when I mentioned Revels, the "bad guys" opposing him were Democrats and the Northern "n-word lovers" were Republicans. If you're Dinesh D'Souza, that's all the proof you need that Democrats are the "true racists." Fortunately, no morons are reading this so you understand that political parties and people's allegiances to them change over time. Hyde-Smith herself was a Democrat until 2010, when she switched parties. This had been an inexorable shift in the South since the passage of the Civil Rights Act (or "LBJ's Betrayal," as they call it down there).

During the Republican senate primary, opponent Chris McDaniel brought up the inconvenient fact that Hyde-Smith was a commie pinko Democrat for most of her life -- including a period where she would've voted in the Democratic primary race where a black guy and the worst woman who ever lived were on the ballot. Her explanation is as ridiculous as it is stupid.

"You can leave a ballot blank, or you can vote for the third or fourth person on there that nobody knows, because I assure you that I didn't vote for either (Clinton or Obama). That is just honestly the 100-percent truth.

"It was probably a no-name, but I still can't remember who the no-name was. But it certainly wasn't either one of them. Because you have so many folks who just, you know, their names on the ballot or you can have a write-in. That was, gosh, 10 years ago, and I have no idea what the name was."

No matter how unlikely it is, I still hope Espy wins in a couple weeks. Revels and Bruce would be proud.

Follow Stephen Robinson on Twitter.

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Stephen Robinson

Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Seattle. However, he's more reliable for food and drink recommendations in Portland, where he spends a lot of time for theatre work. His co-adaptation of "Jitterbug Perfume" by Tom Robbins is playing NOW at Pioneer Square's Cafe Nordo. All Wonketters welcome.

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Once upon a time... about ten years ago, a group of entirely ridiculous men burst onto the scene wearing stupid hats and telling men that wearing stupid hats and telling men that walking up to women in bars and insulting ("negging") them would get them laid. This did not last long, as women also had televisions and computers and were completely aware of these tricks as well, so when some ass came up to us in a bar and said "Hey, nice nails, are they real?" we would laugh and laugh and loudly announce "Oh my god, this guy just tried to neg me! Can you believe that shit? HEY EVERYONE, THIS GUY JUST TRIED TO NEG ME!" and then refer to him as "Mystery" the whole night.

Most of the men who tried that shit only did so a few times before realizing that it wasn't going to work, and thus moved on to other things. Perhaps things that did not involve furry hats and coming off as a huge creep. We may never know, because I would assume that those who tried it are now extremely embarrassed and would never, ever admit to this to us.

Still, there were a few men willing to eat that shit up, as well as some grifters willing to take advantage of that. Said grifters tended to be extremely misogynistic and seemed more like they were teaching men how to be as despised by women as they were than teaching them how to actually be liked by women.

Some of them, like Roosh V, a creepy weirdo who actually does live in his mom's basement, actively encouraged men to rape women who were intoxicated to the point of being obviously unable to consent.

However, even that branch of the PUA tree is wilting away. Many "self-help" style PUA forums like Nextasf and RSDnation are shutting down or have already shut down. In March, Chateau Heartiste, a batshit crazy PUA turned White Nationalist/Alt-Right blog was shut down by Wordpress. This week, rape advocate Roosh V (whom you may recall once called yours truly a "Wonkette typist/clown face, would not bang") announced that he was renouncing his PUA ways and devoting himself to Jesus. He explained to the forum he manages that he would no longer be allowing anyone to discuss premarital "fornication."

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'Baby Geniuses' star Jon Voight took to Twitter early this morning to proclaim his undying love for Donald Trump, probably because there is no one left in his life who will listen to him talk about this, or anything else, in person. In this video rant, Voight encouraged members of the Republican Party, whom he apparently thinks are the only real citizens of the United States, to stand by Donald Trump and "acknowledge the truth" that he is the best President since Abraham Lincoln.


Part ONE:

People of the Republican Party, I know you will agree with me when I say our president has our utmost respect and our love. This job is not easy. For he's battling the left and their absurd words of destruction. I've said this once and I'll say this again. That our nation has been built on the solid ground from our forefathers, and there is a moral code of duty that has been passed on from President Lincoln. I'm here today to acknowledge the truth, and I'm here today to tell you my fellow Americans that our country…

Oh no, not our absurd words of destruction!

Part DEUX:

is stronger, safer, and with more jobs because our President has made his every move correct. Don't be fooled by the political left, because we are the people of this nation that is witnessing triumph. So let us stand with our president. Let us stand up for this truth, that President Trump is the greatest president since President Lincoln.

Does Jon Voight not know there have been... other presidents? Can he name them? Because really, it does not sound like it. Does he also not know that a very big chunk of the Republican Party actually does not care very much for Abraham Lincoln? Namely those defenders of Confederate statues that Trump called "very fine people?" Also, did he intentionally diss their beloved Ronald Reagan?

Who can know? Who can even tell what he is trying to say or why he is trying to say it. He doesn't appear to have tweeted much since 2016, so I'm guessing whoever's job it was to keep him from tanking his career quit. Either that... or after filming the seventh season of Ray Donovan, he found out it's going to be canceled or his character is getting killed off or something and he is now free to be a jackass? I don't know, I haven't watched the show, although my parents are very into it and mad that I haven't watched it. Literally all I know about it is that it has something to do with Boston, because they keep mentioning that to me like it's a selling point.

It seems useless at this point to note that the people who scream their faces off about how bad it is for Hollywood celebs to support liberal causes, and how they should keep their politics to themselves, etc. etc. make a way bigger deal than normal people do whenever a Big Time Hollywood Celebrity like Jon Voight or, uh, Scott Baio, supports their cause. Mostly because they're the only ones who have elected a reality TV star and the star of Bedtime for Bonzo (who by the way, also once practically ruined a perfectly good Bette Davis movie with his bad acting. Which is not to say that Dark Victory is not fantastic and probably the best thing to watch if you want to sob your face off, but he was very bad in it.) to run the country.

But we might as well do that anyway, because it actually never stops being funny.

[Jon Voight Twitter]

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