Down here in the Deep South, calls to bring back the hanging noose are coming from an unlikely source: a 62-year-old, black Republican mayoral candidate in Mississippi’s largest city.
Long-shot George Lambus acknowledges his inflammatory platform has made some residents of Jackson slam doors in his face. Others walked out of a church where he spoke. Yet he insists his tough stand is welcome in some quarters of a state capital racked by crime, much of it black-on-black.
As the only GOP hopeful among nearly a dozen Democrats and four independents, his chances of winning the June election are slim: the majority-black city of about 180,000 is so heavily Democratic that no Republican has won the mayor’s race in modern history. Yet, Lambus hopes to stand out in a crowded field by packing a silver pistol and talking bluntly about crime.
“Crime can only be alleviated by a noose and a stout tree limb,” Lambus wrote in one of several homemade flyers he passes out in Jackson neighborhoods. “I will provide the noose and when the economy improves, I will get the jobs here.”
The Mississippi Republican Party is not supporting Lambus. GOP Chairman Brad White said Lambus’ message doesn’t reflect “the values that we represent.”
“Look at recent history, like in South Africa, when apartheid was abolished,” Lambus said in a recent interview with The Associated Press. “Blacks went on a crime spree. Other blacks got tired of it . . . and they formed vigilantes and they killed people. It brought the crime down.”
His pistol nearby as he peered out a window at his decaying Jackson neighborhood, Lambus added: “When you cut your yard, carry a gun. When you go to church, carry a gun. When you go to school, carry a gun.”
Lambus also asserts that executions are the only way to control crime, adding “If we look at the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, it’s driven with blood.”