Mississippi Lawmaker Says 'Sorry' After Wanting Lynching For Statue Removal

A MS state lawmaker is under fire after calling for the lynching of leaders who supported the recent removal of Confederate monuments in Louisiana.

In a Facebook message dated May 20 at 7:29 p.m., Karl Oliver, a Republican who represents Money, Mississippi, called the destruction of Confederate-era monuments "both heinous and horrific".

Oliver was criticized a year ago for a Facebook post where he told a Gulf Coast resident who opposed policies of the state Legislature that she should return to her previous home in IL.

The action sparked intense blowback from supporters who say the removals are destroying history.

Gunn, who called Oliver early Monday morning, urged him to apologize.

Deputy Mayor Ryan Berni said he was in the meeting and the value of the monuments was never discussed. The City Park Improvement Association, civic groups and the city will decide what will go where the Beauregard statue once stood.

New Orleans is about 60 percent black.

At the state level, stripping symbols of the Confederacy in MS will indeed be an uphill battle. He was so upset, in fact, that he said that the local leaders taking down these monuments "should be LYNCHED!"

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"I called them too, I said, 'You don't need to like this post, '" Gunn said.

Rep. Sonya Williams-Barnesof Gulfport, chairwoman of the state Legislative Black Caucus, said Oliver's apology "is not enough". Just ask people in Germany.

In short, Oliver has made himself a pariah among leaders of both parties.

Oliver's post drew bipartisan criticism in Mississippi. "If so, the legislature would have gotten rid of that flag".

Rep. Chris Bell reacted to Oliver's statement on his Facebook page.

Councilman James A. Gray II represents a majority African-American district and supported the recent removal of four statues - three of Confederate figures and one that honored white supremacy. That's the strongest word I could come up with is condemnation. I welcomed the Lieutenant Governor to be a part of the RFP (Request for Proposal) process we have outlined and look forward to getting formal ideas the State has to share about how to place the Confederate statues in proper historical context. Derrick Simmons tweeted a screenshot with the caption, "Dear World: Meet #Mississippi state Rep. Karl Oliver". "In an effort to express my passion for preserving all historical monuments, I acknowledge the word "lynched" was wrong", wrote Oliver in an official apology. "If there's a stronger word, I'll keep searching for it".

Republican Gov. Phil Bryant, Republican House Speaker Philip Gunn and State Republican Party Chairman Joe Nosef have joined Democrats in condemning the comments, The Clarion-Ledger reported.

"Representative Oliver's comments are offensive, do not represent the Mississippi Republican Party and have no place in our public discourse", Nosef said in a press release.

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