The Christian Science Monitor

Senate runoff brings Mississippi’s painful past to the fore

To James Miles, the abandoned bridge about a mile from his home is little more than a directional landmark.

Most of the time, anyway.

As Mississippi prepares for a Senate runoff on Tuesday, the structure known as the Hanging Bridge – where six African-Americans, including two pregnant women, were brutally lynched in 1918 and 1942 – has been heavy on his mind.

Mr. Miles already supported Democratic candidate Mike Espy, whose campaign sign sits in his yard. But Mr. Espy’s Republican opponent, Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, gave Miles another reason to vote when she recently praised a supporter by saying, “If he invited me to a public hanging, I would be on the front row.” (She later apologized, saying she meant “no ill will.”)

Seeing old prejudices so openly displayed pains Miles, who remembers a time when he had to cross the street to let white pedestrians pass on

‘Mississippi is a red state’Timing and turnout

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