Walmart wants its money back from GOP senator who made lynching 'joke'


Cindy Hyde-Smith's botched, racist campaigning isn't going well for her.

Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS) is running such a racist campaign that companies like Walmart are both renouncing their support and demanding refunds of their campaign contributions.

"Sen. Hyde-Smith's recent comments clearly do not reflect the values of our company and associates," Walmart tweeted. "As a result, we are withdrawing our support and requesting a refund of all campaign donations."

In a recent video, Hyde-Smith is seen laughing and joking about attending a "public hanging" with a campaign supporter. Mississippi has a long and racist history of white crowds gathering to watch black Americans lynched in public.

Hyde-Smith, who is white, is in a close Senate race with Democrat Mike Espy, a black man. Both nominees received about 40 percent of the vote on Nov. 6, and the runoff election will be held on Nov. 27.

Walmart had donated $2,000 to Hyde-Smith, but after pressure from news site Popular Information and celebrities like Debra Messing, the corporation is joining other companies, including Union Pacific and Boston Scientific, in demanding a refund.

Hyde-Smith's handling of her own bigoted remarks have Republicans "unnerved," according to the New York Times.

On a conference call with donors, Hyde-Smith refused to apologize for her lynching remark, reports the Times, and instead "offered a meandering and vague answer, saying that she was considering an apology but worried that offering one would only further fuel the issue."

Her handling of the issue has caused "outrage among African-Americans, discomfort among educated whites who are sensitive to the way their state is perceived nationally," added the Times.

"We're going to have to see moderate white folks in Mississippi, enough of them, say: That's not how we want to be represented; that's not how we want to be depicted," Jarvis Dortch, a Democratic state representative, told the Times.

In addition to "joking" about lynching, Hyde-Smith also made supportive comments about voter suppression efforts.

At a campaign stop at a Mississippi college, Hyde-Smith said, "There's a lot of liberal folks in those other schools who maybe we don't want to vote. Maybe we want to make it just a little more difficult. And I think that’s a great idea."

The bungling from Hyde-Smith's campaign is helping the Espy bid to become the first Democrat elected to the Senate from Mississippi since 1982.

"People know there's a runoff. They know we're competitive," Espy told the Times. "They know that we can win."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.