Cindy Hyde-Smith can be heard, clear as day, saying, “If he invited me to a public hanging, I’d be on the front row.”

She’s running against a black guy.

Bayou Brief: I had been warned in advance about Hyde-Smith’s outrageous comment, which, some in the media subsequently characterized as a “joke.” To me, the only thing even remotely amusing was that it was somewhat reminiscent of Forrest Gump’s microphone kicking back on at the tail end of his speech at a war protest: “And that’s all I have to say about the war in Vietnam.”

But the fictional character Forrest Gump, the audience understood, had been speaking about the brutalities of war; the real-life Cindy Hyde-Smith, however, was trivializing the horrific terror of racist murders that haunt the present and stain the history of Mississippi and the entire Deep South.

Her comments are even more egregious considering they were delivered in the context of a campaign for the United States Senate. Hyde-Smith faces Democratic candidate Mike Espy in a runoff election on Nov. 27th.