MS Black Caucus calls for Rep. Oliver's resignation - - Jackson, MS

MS Black Caucus calls for Rep. Oliver's resignation

Source: WLBT archives Source: WLBT archives
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

The MS Legislative Black Caucus is calling for the immediate resignation of State Representative Karl Oliver for his statement calling for the lynching of people responsible for the removal of Confederate statues in New Orleans, LA.

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

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.”

MS Black Caucus Chairperson, Sonya Williams Barnes spoke out saying, “Members of the MS legislature already struggle to work across party, racial and gender lines. Rep. Oliver’s continued presence in the legislature would deter- and diminish any further progress among members. Rep. Oliver's apology for using the word ‘lynching’, does not mitigate the sentiment behind the statement and his presence will continue to be a sore spot on the work of the Mississippi legislature.”

The MS Legislative Black Caucus says they will boycott the upcoming Southern Legislative Conference as a part of its ongoing protest against the Confederate symbols on the state flag. “We remain steadfast in our commitment to fight racism and to move our state forward. MS is losing millions of dollars in tourism and economic development because of our unwillingness as a state to move past our sordid racial history”,

Williams-Barnes said that Representative Oliver’s statement and the Confederate symbol on the state flag go hand in hand in sending the message that all are not welcome. He thinks that changing the flag is a direct action moving in the right direction as a collective body and it is the right thing to do.

The Black Caucus says that an apology is just mere protocol and to them it is not enough. If these comments are truly not the mindset of the body, change the flag and demand the resignation of Karl Oliver.

Tuesday, Congressman Bennie G. Thompson released the following statement regarding Mississippi Legislator Karl Oliver’s call for the lynching of individuals who seek the removal of symbols of the Confederacy:

“The recent Facebook post made by Karl Oliver was dangerous and as an elected official in Mississippi he should have been aware of the harm that could result from the post,” said Thompson.  “His insistence that people who are opposed to symbols commemorating the treasonous acts of the Confederate State of America should be lynched is deeply disturbing.   This type of hate speech is extremely perilous and could inspire others to commit criminal acts.  We should be reminded that less than two years have passed since nine African-American church members were murdered by a radicalized individual who swore allegiance to the confederate flag and we are three years removed from a group of college students placing a noose and a confederate flag on a statue of civil rights icon James Meredith.  These young people didn’t learn to hate on their own. They were inspired by people, like Mr. Oliver, who seek to indoctrinate others with vile speech.”

“I am requesting that Department of Justice officials review the comments made by Mr. Oliver to determine if his recommendation of violence constitutes an immediate threat to individuals who are committed to removing tributes to the Confederacy from our public spaces.” 

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