Republican Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith may have been publicly crucified for saying if a supporter invited her “to a public hanging,” she’d “be on the front row,” but as it turns out, the Governor of Mississippi doesn’t have an issue with racially insensitive language.
On Monday afternoon, Governor Phil Bryant defended Hyde-Smith’s remark by saying people should be more concerned with abortion in the Black community, which he referred to as “genocide.”
During a press conference, Bryant said “absolutely we have been sensitive to race relations in this state,” even though he once declared April “Confederate Heritage Month,” according to Newsweek.
“We brought the President of the United States here to open the civil rights museum and African American leadership failed to even come to the event because the president was there,” he said. “Today I talked about the genocide of over 20 million African American children. See in my heart, I am confused about where the outrage is at about 20 million African American children that have been aborted. No one wants to say anything about that, no one wants to talk about that.”
National Right to Life President Carol Tobias stood near Bryant as he made the statement.
Bryant first raised began comparing the African-American abortion rate to a health crisis earlier in the day.
“Look at African Americans,” he said. “According to Wikipedia, had those children not been aborted, the African American population would be 48 percent larger in America. Forty-eight percent larger. We can play with those numbers, and we can look at statistics, but the cold, grim truth is, children are being murdered.”
It remains unclear what Wikipedia article Bryant referred to.
Mississippi Reproductive Freedom Fund Executive Director Laurie Bertram-Roberts called out Bryant for his strategic rhetoric.
“It is absurd that a governor in a state that has one of the worst maternal and infant mortality rates in the country, where it is one of the most dangerous places for women to give birth—black women to give birth, specifically—would talk about abortion being black genocide,” Bertram-Roberts said to the Jackson Free Press.
“First of all, black women are not committing genocide when the same women he’s talking about are the mothers of black children,” she added. “To commit genocide, you have to be trying to eliminate a race of people. By definition, that cannot be black mothers. The majority of women who have abortions are also mothers. … Number two, Phil Bryant has never made a policy or endorsed a policy that helps black babies in this state.”
(Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images)