Mandal Ngan/AFP/Getty Images/Cindy Hyde-Smith Facebook and Twitter
The Republican Mississippi Senator who was criticised for joking about lynching has come under fire again after photo of her wearing a Confederate cap resurfaced online.
Cindy Hyde-Smith features in the photo from 2014, which has her smiling and clutching a rifle at a visit to the Jefferson Davis Home and Presidential Library.
The politician captioned the photo:
I enjoyed my tour of Beauvoir. The Jefferson Davis Home and Presidential Library located in Biloxi. This is a must see. Currently on display are artefacts connected to the daily life of the Confederate Soldier including weapons. Mississippi history at its best!
Davis was the president of the Confederacy during the Civil War.
Confederate memorabilia celebrates the southern states who launched a civil war in America in 1861. Though schools across America taught that the cause of the war was predominantly sectionalism and states’ rights, the Texas Board of Education recently decided to re-focus the curriculum and teach children that slavery played a “central role” in the war.
It is because of this link to slavery, and the rights of slave owners to own slaves in the mid-1800s, that make things like the Confederate flag and Confederate cap such contentious objects.
Twitter users took to the social networking platform to air their grievance with the photo, which was first spotted by Politico.
@HuffPost Mississippi is this who you are? The rest of the country is hoping you are more than this. Vote Espy.… https://t.co/nLVN1KFYPj
— Keeping an eye on Individual #1 (@Keeping an eye on Individual #1)
Another Twitter user pointed out that in other photos she’s seen posing with a member of what has been listed as a hate group
Others have defended her photograph, arguing that she had simply visited a museum filled with Confederate artefacts.
NAACP president of the organisation, Derrick Johnson had been scathing in his criticism:
Hyde-Smith’s decision to joke about ‘hanging’ when the history of African-Americans is marred by countless incidents of this barbarous act, is sick. Any politician seeking to serve as a national voice of the people of Mississippi should know better.
President Donald Trump has defended Hyde-Smith, and told reporters at the White House that he still believes she will win the elections.
She made a statement, which I know she feels badly about it, and it was just sort of said in jest.
She is a tremendous woman and it is a shame that she has to go through this.