Mississippi lawmaker 'sorry' he urged lynching for statue removal

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MS state Rep. Karl Oliver, who is white, apologized Monday for a Facebook post he wrote Saturday in which he mentioned lynching as punishment for removing Confederate statues. 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 heinous and horrific", Rep. Karl Oliver wrote on Facebook Saturday night.

If those behind the removals want to "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". His district includes Money, Mississippi, the town where a 14-year-old black boy named Emmett Till was lynched by two white men in 1955.

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, a Democrat, was among the officials criticizing Oliver's original post.

The Free Press also reported on Oliver previous year, when he replied to a Gulfport resident's email about budget cuts with his own email, which read in part, "The people of our Great State overwhelmingly share my same or similar views on Government responsibility".

Oliver's comments Saturday received more than 1,000 comments and has been shared nearly 500 times.

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The New Orleans statue removal has been a topic filled with controversy.

Both Republicans and Democrats in MS issued statements condemning Oliver, with Republican Governor Phil Bryant saying his "language is unacceptable and has no place in civil discourse".

The mayor of New Orleans says a MS lawmaker's remark about lynching shows the city was right "to tackle the issue of race head-on" by removing Confederate statues. Republican House Speaker Philip Gunn stripped Oliver of a committee vice chairmanship.

The chairmen of the Mississippi House and Senate Democratic caucus - Sen.

Using the word "lynched" is inappropriate and offensive.

"Rep. (Karl) Oliver's comments were offensive, do not represent the Mississippi Republican Party and have no place in our public discourse", Nosef said in a statement. But David McDowell, the head of the Mississippi Democratic Trust, an organization that helps elect Democrats to office, said Oliver's "very treacherous and threatening language" was "shocking".

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