Saturday, November 24, 2018

Mississippi Newspaper: Hyde-Smith Attended Segregation Academy
11/24/2018 02:25 PM EST

Cindy Hyde-Smith’s embattled bid for another two years in the Senate hit another race-related hurdle this weekend, as a report in a Mississippi newspaper revealed the Republican incumbent graduated high school at a segregation academy.

A photograph from the 1975 edition of the Lawrence County Academy yearbook, published Friday by the Jackson Free Press, appears to show Hyde-Smith among a group of cheerleaders — including a mascot holding a Confederate flag who appears to be wearing a costume imitating a Confederate general’s uniform. A sophomore girl in the picture is identified in the caption as Cindy Hyde.

Following the Supreme Court’s 1969 mandate that America’s public schools must immediately be desegregated, Lawrence County Academy in Monticello, Mississippi, was one of many high schools established in the South on behalf of white parents who did not want their children to be educated alongside black students.

Lawrence County Academy opened one year after the Supreme Court's order, in 1970, the Free Press reported. Hyde-Smith graduated in 1977, meaning she would have been enrolled elsewhere at the time of the academy's founding, according to the Free Press.

Hyde-Smith would go on to enroll her daughter at Brookhaven Academy, another Mississippi segregation school founded in 1970, the Free Press reported.

The report from the Free Press represents the most recent in a series of setbacks for Hyde-Smith’s Senate campaign that have alarmed national Republicans counting on an easy pick-up for the chamber in deep-red Mississippi.

On Nov. 11, a video appeared on social media showing Hyde-Smith saying that if she were invited by one of her supporters to a "public hanging," she would be in "the front row."

On Nov. 15, another video emerged of Hyde-Smith telling a group of people that “there's a lot of liberal folks in those other schools who that maybe we don't want to vote. Maybe we want to make it just a little more difficult. So, I think that's a great idea.”

And on Tuesday, a Facebook post surfaced in which Hyde-Smith is seen posing for a photo wearing a Confederate soldier's hat and holding a rifle. “Mississippi history at its best!" she wrote in the post.

Hyde-Smith was appointed by Gov. Phil Bryant in March to fill retiring GOP Sen. Thad Cochran’s seat. She is now competing against Democrat Mike Espy in a runoff election to serve out the remainder of Cochran’s term, which expires in January 2021.

If elected, Espy, a former Cabinet secretary under Bill Clinton, would become the first African-American to represent the Mississippi in the Senate since Reconstruction. Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 27.

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