Mississippi Senate Candidate to African Americans: Stop “Begging for Federal Government Scraps”

Chris McDaniel is once again in hot water.

In a live TV appearance on Friday, Mississippi Republican Senate candidate Chris McDaniel said the state’s African Americans should stop “begging for federal government scraps.”

McDaniel made the remarks during a live recording of MSNBC’s Morning Joe at Ole Miss. Interview panelist Eddie Glaude Jr., a Mississippi native and chairman of African American studies at Princeton, noted McDaniel’s history of defending the display of the Confederate flag and blaming rising gun violence on a “hip-hop” culture.

“How do you convince black folk in this state that you’re not a danger to them?” Gaude asked, noting that 38 percent of the state’s population is African American.

McDaniel responded, “I am going to ask them, after 100 years, after 100 years of relying on big government to save you, where are you today? After 100 years of begging for federal government scraps, where are you today?” The audience booed.

The comment is not out of character for McDaniel, a longtime state senator, who made news for addressing a neo-Confederate conference during his run for U.S. Senate in 2014.

Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant quickly condemned McDaniel’s comments on Twitter.

Meanwhile, the Mississippi Department of Public Safety, with the support of Gov. Bryant, announced on Friday that it would no longer purchase Nike products in response to the ad campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick. “I support the commissioner’s decision,” Bryant said in a statement to Mississippi Today. “He has a right to determine what vendors DPS does business with, and it’s not going to be with a company that pays an individual who has slandered our fine men and women in law enforcement.”

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You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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