In 2007, while in the Mississippi state Senate, Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith co-sponsored a resolution that honored a Confederate soldier for his efforts to “defend his homeland.” The resolution also promoted a revisionist, pro-confederacy view of the Civil War.
This is just the latest in a series of racially-charged stories that have come out concerning the GOP candidate for Senator in Mississippi.
According to CNN, the resolution co-sponsored by Hyde-Smith was an attempt to honor Effie Lucille Nicholson Pharr, a then-92-year-old Mississippi resident whose father, Thomas Jefferson Nicholson, served as a soldier in the Confederate army.
The resolution still can be found online. It refers to Nicholson Pharr as “the last known living ‘Real Daughter’ of the Confederacy living in Mississippi” and to her father’s work to “defend his homeland and contribute to the rebuilding of the country” during and after the war.
“This resolution — which ostensibly is about honoring the ‘daughter’ — really seems to be an excuse to glorify the Confederate cause,” Nina Silber, president of the Society of Civil War Historians told CNN about the resolution.
It “rests on an odd combination of perpetuating both the Confederate legacy and the idea that this was not really in conflict with being a good citizen of the nation,” she added.
Hyde-Smith’s senatorial campaign has issued no comments so far on her support for the controversial resolution.
Hyde-Smith is facing Democrat Mike Espy, an African American, in a runoff election for the Mississippi Senate seat on Tuesday.
She has faced a barrage of criticism for her controversial statements about race over the past few weeks. According to CNN, Hyde-Smith’s comments have “evoked Mississippi’s dark history of racism and slavery.”
She was criticized for joking that she would attend a “public hanging” when prompted by a supporter during a campaign event. Since then, there have been new reports that she attended a school specifically designed to avoid integration of Mississippi public schools during the civil rights era.
This new information and the racial controversies have given Democrats a realistic chance to pick up a GOP Senate seat in deep-red Mississippi.