Nooses, Hate Signs Found On Mississippi Capitol Grounds Day Before Contentious Runoff

Two nooses and a number of signs with hateful language were discovered on the grounds of the Mississippi state capitol building on Monday morning, the day before a runoff election is set to commence between a Republican with a questionable past and her black Democratic opponent.

The nooses and signs were found at approximately 7:15 a.m. by capitol police, reporting from WLOX indicated. What the signs said were not made immediately clear, as police refused to comment on their verbiage, citing an investigation that was ongoing.

The troubling discovery comes the day before a runoff election between Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith and Democrat Mike Espy is set to take place.  Hyde-Smith previously faced bitter criticism for comments she made during a campaign event, in which she expressed a desire to attend a “public hanging” with one of her supporters.

Those comments were seen as largely racist in nature, as such hangings in the past have largely been performed against African Americans, gaining prominence in the early half of the last century. Such incidents often included baseless accusations against those being hanged, and rarely included the benefit of a trial or due process for the accused before the murder occurred.

Despite Hyde-Smith’s comments on “public hangings,” and other ties to an allegedly racist past, her chances of winning another term as a U.S. Senator representing the state of Mississippi are promising. In the initial election held on November 6, Hyde-Smith and another Republican garnered 58 percent of the vote, while Democratic candidates only got 42 percent. History is also on the side of the GOP candidate: the state has not elected a Democratic senator since 1982.

Espy is hoping for an upset in the election, and many Democrats have taken an interest in the race across the nation. If elected, Espy would be the first black person elected to the Senate from the state since the era of Reconstruction.

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