Nooses at Capitol intended as critique of racism, Hyde-Smith ‘hanging’ apology

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WLBT-TV via Associated PressIn this photo provided by WLBT-TV a noose hangs on a tree on the state capitol grounds in Jackson, Miss. on Monday, Nov. 26, 2018. A Mississippi official says two nooses and six signs were found on the grounds of the Mississippi state Capitol. Chuck McIntosh, a spokesman for the Mississippi Department of Finance and Administration, which oversees the Capitol, says the nooses and signs were found Monday morning between 7:30 a.m. and 8 a.m.
The day before Mississippi’s U.S. Senate runoff — a race characterized and catapulted into the national spotlight by one candidate’s comments about attending a “public “hanging” — officers found nooses hung from trees at the Mississippi Capitol.
But while media outlets, local and national, characterized accompanying signs attached to the trees as “hate signs,” the demonstration actually appeared to be a critique of recent events surrounding the election.
“We’re hanging nooses to remind people that times haven’t changed,” one sign reads, according to Chuck McIntosh, spokesperson for Mississippi Department of Finance, which oversees the Capitol and other state buildings.
Another sign appeared to criticize incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith’s apology following her “public hanging” gaffe, which some opponents called lukewarm and insincere.
“On Tuesday November 27th thousands of Mississippians will vote for a Senator. We need someone who respects the lives of lynching victims,” a third sign read.
Now, Republican state leaders and officials are promising to prosecute the perpetrators of what they are calling “acts of hate and intimidation.”
Capitol Police, the agency responsible for patrolling the Mississippi State Capitol grounds, found two nooses and five signs attached to the trees on the South side of the building Monday morning between 7:30 a.m. and 8 a.m.
WLBT-TV first notified the police about the items after a caller alerted reporters to the scene, McIntosh said. Officers removed the signs from the trees shortly after