OXFORD, Miss.—The 38 percent of Mississippians who are black voters have been "begging for government scraps" for 100 years, Mississippi State Sen. Chris McDaniel, a Republican U.S. Senate candidate, said Friday morning in a special Mississippi edition of MSNBC's Morning Joe broadcast live from Oxford, Miss.
The comment came after Eddie S. Glaude Jr., a Moss Point native who chairs the Center for African-American Studies at Princeton University, cited McDaniel's ongoing support for the Mississippi flag. Glaude followed with instances in which McDaniel has faced accusations of racism or racial insensitivity, such as when he blamed hip-hop for violence and praised Confederate General Robert E. Lee.
"How do you convince black folks in this state that you're not a danger to them?" and "How do you speak to those 38 percent?" Glaude asked.
"I'm going to ask them, 'After 100 years of relying on big government to save you, where are you today?'" McDaniel said. "'After 100 years of begging for federal government scraps, where are you today?' We've been dead last for 100 years."
The comment was met with a chorus of boos and jeers from the crowd of Mississippians who gathered for the live broadcast.
"What I would say to the 38 percent is that I am a candidate who wants to expand your liberty and opportunity," McDaniel said after the boos died down. "We can't keep doing it the same old way and expect different results."
After the segment, Glaude told the Jackson Free Press via Twitter how he felt about McDaniel's answer via Twitter.
"I thought it was high grade BS," Glaude wrote. "He is against a living wage and against healthcare in the poorest state in the union. He wants the freedom to exploit and deepen the poverty of people in MS."
McDaniel also defended the state flag, saying it should remain because