The United States Department of Justice has defended comments by an employee who called Mississippi “disgusting and shameful.” This same employee reviews photo voter identification laws throughout the south for approval from her position in the DOJ Voting Section.
PJ Media first reported on comments made by Voting Section employee Stephanie Gyamfi toward the citizens of Mississippi:
On her Facebook page, Voting Section supervisory civil rights analyst Stephanie Celandine Gyamfi says about the people of Mississippi:
“Disgusting and shameful. Hey, that should replace the state motto: ‘Mississippi: Disgusting and Shameful’. . . forget the Magnolia State motto.”
On Tuesday, Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann held a press conference in response to the PJ Media story and demanded that Gyamfi be removed from all reviews of state election laws under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. Three Mississippi congressmen (Nunlee, Harper, and Palazzo), sent a letter to the DOJ demanding the same.
Voting Section Chief Christopher Herren on Tuesday said that the comments by Gyamfi were “personal” in nature. Yet then the resources of the Department of Justice were deployed to defend the comments.
Justice Department officials told WLBT-TV in Mississippi that the comments were “taken out of context” and were defensible because they related to an ugly incident at the University of Southern Mississippi. During that incident, some students taunted an opposing Hispanic basketball player.