Credo Action

The Senate must censure Cindy Hyde-Smith

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Petition to the Senate:

"Censure Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, whose history of racism and recent near-endorsement of lynching bring shame upon the Senate."

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    The Senate must censure Cindy Hyde-Smith

    Between 1882 and 1952, there were 534 reported lynchings in Mississippi, making the state one of the nation's leaders in racist murders of Black men.1

    Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith certainly knows her Mississippi history. After all, she "defended slavery as a matter of plantation owners 'defending their homeland'" and pushed revisionist myths about the Civil War.2 So she knew exactly what she was saying when she told a supporter at a recent campaign event, “If he invited me to a public hanging, I’d be on the front row.”3

    With Hyde-Smith's racist record forced into the open, Senate Republicans have a choice: They can censure Hyde-Smith or explain why they think her racist remarks are acceptable for a senator.

    Tell the Senate: Censure Cindy Hyde-Smith.

    Every time Hyde-Smith gets caught declaring her true views, she quickly insists her offensive behavior was only a joke. That's what she said about endorsing lynching. She said the same thing shortly after the lynching comment when she was caught applauding attempts to openly suppress Black votes as "a great idea."5

    But these aren't jokes – Hyde-Smith has a decade-long history of openly racist remarks. She backed a resolution pushing a revisionist history of the Civil War, said she had "great pride" in Confederate soldiers, defended slaveowners and tried to name a highway after Jefferson Davis.6

    In the wake of Hyde-Smith's comments on lynching, image-conscious corporations like Major League Baseball, Aetna, AT&T, Pfizer, Walmart, Union Pacific and Boston Scientific demanded that she return the money they donated to her campaign.4 Massive pressure helped convince corporations of the importance of distancing themselves from her racism. We need to create the same pressure to demand that Republican senators do the same.

    We need to draw a line and make it clear that Trump's open bigotry might make Hyde-Smith seem normal, but her racist rhetoric, a throwback to some of the worst times of American history, has no place at the highest levels of government. Senators must censure Hyde-Smith – or explain exactly why they believe her racist rhetoric belongs in the Senate.

    Tell the Senate: Censure Cindy Hyde-Smith.

    Thank you for speaking out.

    References:

    1. Nicolaus Mills, "Hyde-Smith Turned Mississippi’s Racial Clock Back to 1964," The Daily Beast, Nov. 30, 2018.
    2. Adam Peck, "Cindy Hyde-Smith retains the title of most racist member of the U.S. Senate, wins runoff election," ThinkProgress, Nov. 27, 2018.
    3. Ibid.
    4. Ibid.
    5. Ibid.
    6. Ibid.