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By Jane C. Timm
Two nooses were found hanging at the Mississippi State Capitol on Monday morning around 7:15, according to NBC affiliate WLBT.
Hate signs also were found, although it unclear what they said or if the signs referenced the racially charged runoff Senate election taking place Tuesday between Democrat Mike Espy, who is black, and Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith.
State Capitol police did not immediately respond to multiple requests for comment.
Hyde-Smith has come under fire for her comment about attending a “public hanging” and voter suppression, which her campaign later said was a joke.
The Jackson Free-Press brought also reported on Friday that Hyde-Smith had attended Lawrence County Academy in Brookhaven, Mississippi, during the 1970s. The now-shuttered school — one of the so-called “segregation academies” — was founded in 1970 to flout an order to integrate the state’s schools and had a confederate general mascot, according to the local weekly.
In their debate last week, Espy accused Hyde-Smith of having given Mississippi “another black eye” on racial issues.
The Republican incumbent said her public hanging comment “was twisted, was turned into a weapon to be used against me.” If anyone was offended, Hyde-Smith said, “I certainly apologize.”
Espy shot back.
“No one twisted your comments,” he said at the debate. “They came out of your mouth. I don’t know what’s in your heart — but we all know what came out of your mouth…It’s caused our state harm. It’s given our state another black eye that we don’t need.”
Because of the state’s history of lynchings and other racially motivated killings, Democrats and civil rights advocates have ripped into Hyde-Smith.
President Donald Trump is schedule to campaign at two stops for Hyde-Smith later Monday.