University of Mississippi's first female Rhodes Scholar calls Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith a 'white supremacist'
Jaz Brisack, who this year became the University of Mississippi's first ever woman Rhodes Scholar, flatly called GOP Senate candidate Cindy Hyde-Smith a white supremacist in an interview with the Oxford Eagle.
"I'm honored to get to be a role model for other Mississippi girls looking for ways to make their voices heard in a state still very much dominated by patriarchal structures," she said. "Given that our state amplifies the voices of white supremacist women like Cindy Hyde-Smith who reinforce and uphold misogynist policies, I'm glad to be able to provide a very different example of how an empowered Southern woman acts."
"I hope to inspire people to speak out against injustice, even when it's difficult or unpopular," she added. "I want people to realize that human rights are non-negotiable."
Hyde-Smith, who was appointed to ailing Sen. Thad Cochran's Senate seat earlier this year, is running to serve out the remaining two years of his term. She has come under fire for joking that she would attend a public hanging and that it should be harder for college students to vote, for posing for a photo in Confederate battle gear, for accepting a donation from an avowed white supremacist, and for sending her daughter to a "segregation academy".
Her Democratic opponent is Mike Espy, a former congressman and the first African-American to serve as Secretary of Agriculture. Espy has been quick to seize on Hyde-Smith's behavior, calling her an "embarrassment" and warning that she "reinforces the stereotypes" that have dogged Mississippi.
Both parties agree that Hyde-Smith is still the favorite to win Tuesday's runoff, in a heavily red state that backed President Donald Trump by 18 points. But the combination of Hyde-Smith's scandals, Democratic base mobilization, and tightening polls, Republicans are suddenly worried Mississippi could be a rerun of last year's Democratic Senate victory in Alabama.