Mississippi lawmaker apologizes for lynching comments on Facebook
Mississippi State Rep. Karl Oliver apologized on Monday after he posted on Facebook that those calling for the removal of Confederate monuments in Louisiana should be “lynched.”
In the original Facebook post, Oliver raged against those calling for the monuments to be removed from New Orleans, saying, “The destruction of these monuments, erected in the loving memory of our family and fellow Southern Americans, is both heinous and horrific. If the, and I use this term extremely loosely, ‘leadership’ of Louisiana wishes to, in a Nazi-ish fashion, burn books or destroy historical monuments of OUR HISTORY, they should be LYNCHED! Let it be known, I will do all in my power to prevent this from happening in our State.”
Now, Oliver has issued a written apology as well as a statement by phone walking back his post.
“I, first and foremost, wish to extend this apology for any embarrassment I have caused to both my colleagues and fellow Mississippians,” Oliver said. “In an effort to express my passion for preserving all historical monuments, I acknowledge the word ‘lynched’ was wrong. I am very sorry. It is in no way, ever, an appropriate term. I deeply regret that I chose this word, and I do not condone the actions I referenced, nor do I believe them in my heart. I freely admit my choice of words was horribly wrong, and I humbly ask your forgiveness.”
Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have condemned Oliver’s post for its offensive language.
“Rep. Oliver’s language is unacceptable and has no place in civil discourse,” Gov. Phil Bryant said in a statement.
Republican House Speaker Philip Gunn, who advocated for removing the Confederate battle flag from the state flag, stripped Oliver of his vice chairmanship of the House Forestry Committee and said of his comments, “I have searched for the adjectives to describe just how offended — bad, improper, inappropriate — those comments were, and the words ‘I condemn them’ are the strongest I could come up with. There is no place for that. There is no proper venue for that. That’s just not acceptable.”