I agree with Jamelle that this very good story buries the lede somewhat. It’s interesting that Hyde-Smith went to a segregation academy, in that it helps to explain why she is who she is, but in itself one wouldn’t want to read too much into it — a child generally has limited input into where they go to school, after all. This, on the other hand:
Lawrence County Academy opened in the small town of Monticello, Miss., about 60 miles south of Jackson, in 1970. That same year, another segregation school, Brookhaven Academy, opened in nearby Lincoln County. Years later, Hyde-Smith would send her daughter, Anna-Michael, to that academy.
Fifteen years after school integration become the law of the land, the Supreme Court ordered the immediate desegregation of public schools in 1969, and Mississippi Gov. John Bell Williams ordered that public schools integrate when students returned from Christmas break in early 1970. “So let us accept the inevitable that we are going to suffer one way or the other, both white and black, as a result of the court’s decree,” he said at the time.
It is no coincidence that the academy Hyde-Smith attended opened the very year after the highest court’s ultimatum, as did others around the state. The day he announced his compliance, Williams made it a priority to focus on private schools as an alternative for white students whose parents were not keen on their children sharing classrooms with black children. The Legislature even approved private-school vouchers for white families to offset the costs of sending their kids to whites-only private schools.
“Lawrence County Academy started because people didn’t want their kids going to school with minorities,” Lawrence County NAACP President Wesley Bridges, who also serves on the local public school board, told the Jackson Free Press on Saturday. “That’s been evident.”
“Cindy Hyde-Smith was a product of that school,” he added.
Even to this day, Brookhaven Academy, from which Hyde-Smith’s daughter graduated in 2017, is almost all-white. In the 2015-2016 school year, Brookhaven Academy enrolled 386 white children, five Asian children, and just one black child, the National Center for Education Statistics shows. That’s despite the fact that Census statistics show Brookhaven is 55 percent black and 43 percent white, per 2016 Census estimates.
Donald Trump becoming the Republican nominee for president sure is a mystery.
Mississippi Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith once promoted a measure that praised a Confederate soldier’s effort to “defend his homeland” and pushed a revisionist view of the Civil War.
Hyde-Smith, a Republican, faces Mike Espy, a Democratic former congressman and agriculture secretary, in Tuesday’s runoff in Mississippi — the final Senate race to be decided in 2018. The measure, which was unearthed by CNN’s KFile during a review of Hyde-Smith’s legislative history, is the latest in a series of issues that have surfaced during her campaign, many of which have evoked Mississippi’s dark history of racism and slavery.
As a state senator in 2007, Hyde-Smith cosponsored a resolution that honored then-92-year-old Effie Lucille Nicholson Pharr, calling her “the last known living ‘Real Daughter’ of the Confederacy living in Mississippi.” Pharr’s father had been a Confederate soldier in Robert E. Lee’s army in the Civil War.
The resolution refers to the Civil War as “The War Between the States.” It says her father “fought to defend his homeland and contributed to the rebuilding of the country.” It says that with “great pride,” Mississippi lawmakers “join the Sons of Confederate Veterans” to honor Pharr.
I think she meant “Fatherland.”