Rep: Sorry for using 'lynch' over Confederate statue removal

Todd Singleton
May 23, 2017

Republican Mississippi state Rep. Karl Oliver, who wrote in a post on his Facebook page that those who support the removal of Confederate monuments "should be lynched", has since apologized for his actions after widespread condemnation, according to Mississippi Today.

A MS state lawmaker who called for the lynching of Louisiana officials for removing pro-slavery era monuments apologized on Monday after his comments sparked a firestorm of criticism. He began by lambasting the recent events in New Orleans, in neighboring Louisiana, which saw the last of its Confederate monuments - a statue of the south's civil war commander Gen Robert E Lee - taken away on Friday in a move by local officials to end the visible celebration of white supremacy.

The destruction of these monuments, erected in the loving memory of our family and fellow Southern Americans, is both... "Let it be known, I will do all in my power to prevent this from happening in our state".

"I think if the leadership in MS state government wants to be responsible, they should join the call for Rep. Oliver's resignation".

Oliver did not immediately respond to email and phone messages from The Associated Press seeking comment Monday.

Gunn said he heard about Oliver's Facebook post late Sunday and called Oliver early Monday and told him to apologize.

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Although Oliver apologized, many politicians are not satisfied and believe a stricter punishment is necessary.

Oliver's lynching remark has been strongly rebuked by fellow Mississippi Republicans.

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu first proposed removing the monuments in 2015, and the City Council approved the move that year.

Gunn said Oliver's remarks "do not reflect the views of the Republican party, the leadership of the House of Representatives or the House as a whole".

Mississippi Rep. Sonya Williams-Barnes, a member of the Mississippi Legislative Black Caucus, described Oliver's comments as "shameful, but seemingly extremely comfortable, choice of words". He accused Louisiana officials of acting in a Nazi-like fashion.

"Rep. Oliver's language is unacceptable and has no place in civil discourse", Bryant said in a statement. "With the removal of four of our century-plus aged landmarks, at 299 years old, New Orleans now heads into our Tricentennial more divided and less historic".

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