Received this e-mail from Democracy for America in support of Mike Espy’s (D. MS) U.S. Senate campaign:
Five hundred and eighty one.
That’s the number of lynchings that occurred in Mississippi between 1882 and 1968.
Five hundred and eighty one mothers lost their sons. Five hundred and eighty one fathers shed tears for a child they would never see again. Five hundred and eighty one families were victims of systemic and state-sanctioned violence that occurred not just in Mississippi but spread across the Southern states of America for more than 75 years.
Lynching across the South is a well known piece of history that many have tried to forget or erase.
The tactic of using violent means to deter Blacks from voting, attending schools, or simply walking down the street is as old as the United States itself, and while it deterred some it inspired many to stand up against these horrific travesties.
Before, during, and after the civil rights movement, thousands of grassroots leaders have worked in Mississippi to end the violence, desegregate schools, and register voters across the state. Civil rights leaders like Medgar Evers, Fannie Lou Hamer, and Herbert Lee dedicated their lives to invigorating and inspiring the disenfranchised population in Mississippi and surrounding states.
Today, their fight continues.
Mike Espy, who served as the first Black U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, is in a runoff for U.S. Senate and he needs your help. Can you sign-up today to make calls to voters in Mississippi, encouraging them to get out the vote in this run-off election?
Despite knowing the long and tragic history of Mississippi’s past, current Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith made an off-handed and offensive joke last week referencing public hangings. She has since refused to apologize for her insidious comments. In addition to making outright bigoted jokes, Hyde-Smith has spent her entire political career doing almost nothing to improve the lives of Mississippians.
It’s time that we change this. Mike Espy is running to bring quality healthcare, jobs, and education to Mississippi families.
In 1998, Espy became the first African-American to represent Mississippi in Congress since reconstruction. His political resume and dedication to bring change are a direct rebuke to those individuals from the past, present, and future who have tried to disenfranchise the poor, working class, and oppressed communities in the South and across this country.
Electing Mike Espy to the Senate is about much more than just strengthening the blue wave. It’s about sending a message to every single elected official that using racial animus to win elections simply isn’t going to work anymore.
That’s why Mike Espy and Democracy for America need you to spend a few hours talking to voters. Can you sign up for a call shift to help win this Senate seat in Mississippi?
The 2018 midterm election cycle is not over. There are still votes to count and races to win, but together we will honor the fighters of the past and bring change to America’s future.
Brieanna Fisher, National Training Manager
Democracy for America