MS Rep. Karl Oliver issues statement on "lynching" post he made - - Jackson, MS

MS Rep. Karl Oliver issues statement on "lynching" post he made on Facebook

Source: Facebook Source: Facebook
Source: Facebook Source: Facebook
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

With one click to post to Facebook, Representative Karl Oliver ignited a firestorm of controversy. The post noted that those in Louisiana taking down the monuments should be LYNCHED, in all capital letters.

The post said: “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.”

A couple of his colleagues went ahead and hit "Like" on the post. It came to a head Monday morning, though, with leadership stepping in.

"I called him immediately and said this is not acceptable," said Speaker Philip Gunn. "This is inappropriate. And you need to apologize for this."

"I think his comment was inappropriate and I think it's foolish," added Lt. Governor Tate Reeves.

"The first two words out of my mouth and my statement or, I condemn his statements," noted Gunn. "That's the strongest word I could come up with is condemnation. If there's a stronger word, I'll keep searching for it."

Don't bother going to Facebook to look for that original post. It's since been deleted. But by mid-afternoon Monday, Oliver seems to have deleted all his Facebook content or at least changed his privacy settings. Now, all you can see is his profile picture, cover photo and the apology.

His apology reads: 

"I, first and foremost, wish to extend this apology for any embarrassment I have caused to both my colleagues and fellow Mississippians. 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."

RELATED: New Orleans mayor says it's time to move on from era of Confederate monuments

His post, which had been shared over 240 times and received over 450 comments, spread quickly, finding it's way to hundreds of people who have called him out as being a racist.

Here's what some people are saying about it:

Kayley Ryan - Shame on any Mississippian or person who advocates for the lynching of their neighbors. Endorsing racially-motivated violence sounds a whole lot more like nazism to me. Folks like y'all do not represent why I'm proud to be from our state.

Terry SullivanKarl Oliver, first of all, I am from Winona and find your post to lack any leadership what so ever and it shows your ignorance and weakness. My great-great grandfather fought in the civil war and I am proud of him as a person but not proud of what he fought for. To call for a lynching of officials means that you are just trying to get attention, which you have done - good for you. But Winona needs real leadership, not another politician trying to play to the current conservative movement. Winona has become a shell of what it once was, as have most rural towns in Mississippi. This is due to politicians such as yourself who have no true vision or intelligence. Keep hanging on to the past because that's the best you can do.

Erin Briggs - Your comments about lynching are Disgusting.... especially coming from an elected official

Other support the Representative's thoughts:  

Howard Smith - Im right behind you karl you got my support.

Johnny Mims - Thank you for standing up for our heritage !!

Kay Plummer - This makes me sick!! This is history and I can't see how a liberal mayor can have this much power to convince others to do this. This is just not right to do this! And by the way, thank you!!

In a text to Mississippi News Now, Senator Derrick Simmons - District 12 said, "I am offended and outraged that a public official in 2017 would, with an obvious conviction and clear conscience, call for and promote one of the most cruel, vicious, and wicked acts in American history."

Chris Bell posted on his Facebook page saying, "Angered beyond words by the inflammatory remarks made by the Representative from District 46. His constant and consistent disrespect for those who are offended by the images of hate is unacceptable! I will fight with vigor and tenacity to ensure not only our current state flag is removed along with those images that glorify hate."

Governor Phil Bryant also responded to the post saying, "Rep. Oliver's language is unacceptable and has no place in civil discourse"

Mississippi District 28 Senator Sollie B. Norwood issued a statement saying: “I think Representative Karl Oliver meant it and I think it’s irresponsible for him to apologize for something that he meant. The term “lynching,” has long lasting, penetrating hurt. Having dealt with cross burnings and intimidation, we just can’t sit idly by and let this happen. I think if the leadership in Mississippi state government wants to be responsible they should join the call for Representative Oliver’s resignation. There is no place in public office for anyone who embraces that ideology and expresses such deeply demented thoughts as to glorify the painful, racist and dehumanizing act of lynching another human being to justify his support of the confederacy.”

Two state representatives, John Read, R-Gautier, and Doug McLeod, R-Lucedale, liked the Facebook post, along with Tony Dunn, Public Affairs Officer with the Mississippi Highway Patrol.

This is not the first time Oliver has causes a social media stir. Becky Guidry posted an exchange with State Rep. Karl Oliver that included the Winona lawmaker telling Guidry he’d like to see her leave Mississippi and return to her native Illinois.

READ MORE: MS lawmaker's response to email from Gulfport woman causes social media stir

We sent a request for an on-camera interview to Rep. Karl Oliver Monday but have not received a reply.

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