Context of "Public Hanging"


vrDrew

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Uggghhh..

"Public hanging"

Is there a racist subtext there? Maybe. But probably not. Poorly chosen words, but hardly enough to condemn anybody.

Much as I respect Mike Espy and the NAACP, maybe we ought to let this one go. Political correctness, at this level, is a losing game.

Concentrate on the important issues. Voting rights and economic opportunity count a million times more in most every citizen's life than a badly chosen metaphor.

Time to move on. We've got bigger fish to fry.
 

LizKat

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Time to move on. We've got bigger fish to fry.
No, it should not be given a pass. People know what this means in Mississippi.

It's profoundly racist. Racists don't even wink and nod anymore, or pass remarks sotto voce. They just put it right out there like a badge of honor. The GOP lets it pass. The people of the USA should not follow suit and the press are right to take note of it.

We have a lot of healing that needs to happen after this white nationalist in the White House and his swell policy advisors like Stephen Miller get gone from there. I don't know who will help us do that or how it will be done.

In the meantime those who figure they can profit politically from voters who hate whole groups of other Americans seem ever more emboldened: they sense permission from a President who is in fact president of all the people yet has always refused to take up that mantle.

Trump should be speaking out against racism and xenophobia, not railing in hyperpartisan fashion about vote counting issues that properly reside with the electoral boards of the states overseeing the counts.

While he carries on like that, we have this stuff in the campaign for the Mississippi runoff election zooming in supposedly under the radar. The reported incident is better taken full notice of, otherwise such language and the historically racist impulses behind it can end up once again in the public consciousness as acceptable.
 

sean000

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I don’t know... I grew up on the other side of the river (Arkansas) and I never heard a casual expression that referenced a public hanging. Perhaps it means something more benign than I can imagine, but how out of touch must she be to use a phrase like that? Probably about this out of touch:

 

Eraserhead

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Nov 3, 2005
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Uggghhh..

"Public hanging"

Is there a racist subtext there? Maybe. But probably not. Poorly chosen words, but hardly enough to condemn anybody.

Much as I respect Mike Espy and the NAACP, maybe we ought to let this one go. Political correctness, at this level, is a losing game.

Concentrate on the important issues. Voting rights and economic opportunity count a million times more in most every citizen's life than a badly chosen metaphor.

Time to move on. We've got bigger fish to fry.
Liberals (and everyone’s favourite mentally ill rapper, Kanye West) accused Bush of racism for no child left behind and his incompetence over Katrina. That is ridiculous and wrong.

This is pretty clearly racist. Especially in somewhere like Mississippi.
 

vrDrew

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Big picture: Do Democrats want to turn Mississippi Blue? Is that even a realistic goal?

If it is a plausible outcome, then does going nuclear on political correctness help to attain that goal? I struggle to see how it does.

Political correctness isn't a winning strategy. It's the sort of issue that turns ordinary, decent people into reluctant Republicans.

Give white Mississippians an easy path to get right with God, get right with history. Fight voter suppression. Fight for economic rights. But let this sort of *********** go. It's not worth it.
 

Eraserhead

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Nov 3, 2005
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Big picture: Do Democrats want to turn Mississippi Blue? Is that even a realistic goal?

If it is a plausible outcome, then does going nuclear on political correctness help to attain that goal? I struggle to see how it does.

Political correctness isn't a winning strategy. It's the sort of issue that turns ordinary, decent people into reluctant Republicans.

Give white Mississippians an easy path to get right with God, get right with history. Fight voter suppression. Fight for economic rights. But let this sort of *********** go. It's not worth it.
PC isn’t a winning strategy when people make PC points that only north London liberals understand.

Referring to lyching isn’t in that category.
 

JayMysterio

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Apr 24, 2010
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Big picture: Do Democrats want to turn Mississippi Blue? Is that even a realistic goal?

If it is a plausible outcome, then does going nuclear on political correctness help to attain that goal? I struggle to see how it does.

Political correctness isn't a winning strategy. It's the sort of issue that turns ordinary, decent people into reluctant Republicans.

Give white Mississippians an easy path to get right with God, get right with history. Fight voter suppression. Fight for economic rights. But let this sort of *********** go. It's not worth it.
You're making it about democrats & devolving it into partisan politics. It doesn't matter what party a person belongs to, this was an offensive thing to say for anyone running for elected office that is supposed to represent ALL of their constituents. Not just the portion they want to dog whistle to, that literally epitomizes racism.

It isn't about being PC, it's about being a decent human being who supposedly cares for ALL the other human beings they are running for office to represent.
 
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VulchR

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Sounds like a mindless comment - probably she just didn't think about the meaning of what she was saying. Still, the one thing we need from our legislators is thoughtfulness, and this doesn't seem to indicate that.
 

GermanSuplex

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Aug 26, 2009
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She said it, and she released a statement saying that it is those who are offended that have the issue, not her statements. When asked repeatedly to clarify, she continued to stand by her scripted statement.

Even if you move past the context of what was said - what's wrong with saying "I screwed up and I'm sorry" once in a while?
 

RichardMZhlubb

Contributor
Nov 26, 2010
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Objecting to this comment is not an example of political correctness. I cannot, for the life of me, see any innocent explanation for the remark. It was, at a minimum, an incredibly weird and cruel thing to say. If she had said "execution" instead of "public hanging," it may not have had the same racial context, but would still be a horrible thing to say. But, given the location and context, it really was no different than using the term "lynching," and she either knows that or should know that. It's abhorrent and she deserves every bit of criticism she gets.
 

kobalap

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Nov 30, 2009
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Big picture: Do Democrats want to turn Mississippi Blue? Is that even a realistic goal?

If it is a plausible outcome, then does going nuclear on political correctness help to attain that goal? I struggle to see how it does.

Political correctness isn't a winning strategy. It's the sort of issue that turns ordinary, decent people into reluctant Republicans.

Give white Mississippians an easy path to get right with God, get right with history. Fight voter suppression. Fight for economic rights. But let this sort of *********** go. It's not worth it.
I am not a democrat and couldn't give a crap less about turning Mississippi blue. Turning a blind eye with the objective of "winning" state politics is not something I would want to do even if I was.

On the surface, this person said something worse than the "n" word. Think about that for a second. This person is not calling names. This person said, if there was a public hanging (which I assume in Mississippi means lynching a person of color), she would attend. And you are talking about political correctness.

If I may ask, what is wrong with you?
 
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Sydde

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Hanging is not official procedure in Mississippi. They use the needle. Hence, a “public hanging” would not be something carried out by the state itself. It could be nothing other than murder.

If you want a more straightforward example, here is Iowa congresscritter Steve King,

Steve King: … I made a big ol’ batch of my patented pheasant noodle soup for everybody. … I put about a half a dozen jalapeno peppers, just whole, drop them floating around in there. … I raised a bunch this year, and they don’t have enough bite. I guess I’m going to have to go and get some dirt from Mexico to grow the next batch.
[Laughter]
Audience member: Trust me, it’s already on its way.
Steve King: Well, yeah, there’s plenty of dirt, it’s coming from the West Coast, too. And a lot of other places, besides. This is the most dirt we’ve ever seen.

No, technically not racism, as such, but fundamentally, yes, exactly like racism.
 
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vrDrew

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Hanging is not official procedure in Mississippi. They use the needle. Hence, a “public hanging” would not be something carried out by the state itself. It could be nothing other than murder.
It's been quite some time since anyone was beheaded at the Tower of London. And yet I still hear people in the UK use the phrase "Off with his head!" in an ironic or sarcastic fashion. I remember one engineer declaring he was going to be "hung, drawn, and quartered" for messing up on a Finite Element Analysis.

OK: I get the outrage over this comment. And given Mississippi's particular history of racial violence, it was a notably careless and insensitive thing to say.

But where do people expect this to go? Hyde-Smith isn't going to drop out of the race. She's said it wasn't intended in a derogatory fashion. I don't blame her for not wanting to talk about it. Maybe that makes her clueless. Maybe it makes her a closet racist. But there isn't much more to be done.

Mike Espy has an uphill battle in the runoff election. There are all sorts of things that could be done to help him pull off an upset. I'm not sure fuming with righteous anger over an offhand comment, no matter how insensitive and borderline racist, will do much good for anyone.
 
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kobalap

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It's been quite some time since anyone was beheaded at the

But where do people expect this to go? Hyde-Smith isn't going to drop out of the race. She's said it wasn't intended in a derogatory fashion. I don't blame her for not wanting to talk about it. Maybe that makes her clueless. Maybe it makes her a closet racist. But there isn't much more to be done.
By your standards, what is the point in any of the threads in the PRSI forum? When people discuss healthcare or any of a range of domestic or foreign policy issues, what more is to be done? Isn't all of this really just peeing in the wind?
 

JayMysterio

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It's been quite some time since anyone was beheaded at the Tower of London. And yet I still hear people in the UK use the phrase "Off with his head!" in an ironic or sarcastic fashion. I remember one engineer declaring he was going to be "hung, drawn, and quartered" for messing up on a Finite Element Analysis.

OK: I get the outrage over this comment. And given Mississippi's particular history of racial violence, it was a notably careless and insensitive thing to say.

But where do people expect this to go? Hyde-Smith isn't going to drop out of the race. She's said it wasn't intended in a derogatory fashion. I don't blame her for not wanting to talk about it. Maybe that makes her clueless. Maybe it makes her a closet racist. But there isn't much more to be done.

Mike Espy has an uphill battle in the runoff election. There are all sorts of things that could be done to help him pull off an upset. I'm not sure fuming with righteous anger over an offhand comment, no matter how insensitive and borderline racist, will do much good for anyone.
You are still making this about tying to two separate things together. Espy didn't ask for Hyde-Smith to be removed from the elections. He just pointed as I did, that her comments are not fitting for someone who seeks an office representing ALL of an area's constituents. I am certainly not asking a public official to know everyone they represent, but I would expect that they know and are mindful of the various people they represent. Hyde-Smith is in frikkin' Miss, someone outside of Miss might not be aware of it's racial history. But those in Miss are well aware, some just don't care. It's expected that someone from Miss, hoping to represent those in Miss would know these things and care.

Where Espy is hoping this goes is that it sheds a light on the kind of person that is running to represent people. That there is a choice to be made. Continue putting dog whistlers & the true divisive in office, or someone else.
 

vrDrew

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You are still making this about tying to two separate things together. Espy didn't ask for Hyde-Smith to be removed from the elections. He just pointed as I did, that her comments are not fitting for someone who seeks an office representing ALL of an area's constituents.
Maybe her comments meet that standard. But - to use a ridiculous example - we wouldn't really want a President who thought there were 57 states in the US. A point made endlessly by Republicans after a tired Barack Obama misspoke about his campaign schedule.

I'm tired of "gotcha" politics. And if it's ever going to stop, then it's got to start somewhere.

There are plenty of good, documented policy reasons for Mississippians not to vote for Cindy Hyde-Smith. I think we'd be better served in the long run if we started focusing on them, and not on an off-hand comment.
 

JayMysterio

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Maybe her comments meet that standard. But - to use a ridiculous example - we wouldn't really want a President who thought there were 57 states in the US. A point made endlessly by Republicans after a tired Barack Obama misspoke about his campaign schedule.

I'm tired of "gotcha" politics. And if it's ever going to stop, then it's got to start somewhere.

There are plenty of good, documented policy reasons for Mississippians not to vote for Cindy Hyde-Smith. I think we'd be better served in the long run if we started focusing on them, and not on an off-hand comment.
As I said, what Espy was trying to bring out is it's symptomatic of another type of candidate that is really popular now. Do we need another dog whistler?
 

vrDrew

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As I said, what Espy was trying to bring out is it's symptomatic of another type of candidate that is really popular now. Do we need another dog whistler?
If it was a dog whistle, it was a not-very-loud one.

I understand mine is not a popular opinion. A lot of people whom I respect and generally agree with have a different take on this. And I recognize there is some sort of grey area between that which is acceptable, and that which is deserving of universal condemnation.

I've noted elsewhere: "Political Correctness" is not a very popular concept among the broader American people. It is (surprising to me) not particularly popular among African-Americas and other minorities. And I am concerned that Democrats have been (fairly or not) identified with political correctness.

And my take away on this is that the more Espy and NAACP make a stink out of this, the more its going to hurt them. I hope I don't need to explain why.
 

GermanSuplex

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If it was a dog whistle, it was a not-very-loud one.
That is the point of a dog whistle. To be overt enough to generate a feeling - moreso in those who are meant to hear it - but not enough to where it can't be debated what was "truly meant". It's nothing new.

A politician talking about a public hanging is as close to getting over the edge without going there as you can. Perhaps in these days of discourse it rang more like a gym coach's whistle than an airhorn, but I don't think these are the very mild type of comments that can be so easily brushed off - especially given the race of the candidates.