Mississippi rep: Lynch people removing Confederate monuments
NEW ORLEANS – A Mississippi lawmaker says he was wrong to call for Louisiana leaders to be lynched for removing Confederate monuments and is asking for forgiveness.
Republican state Rep. Karl Oliver of Winona says in a statement Monday that he wants to apologize to his colleagues and to the state of Mississippi.
"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."
Oliver set off a wave of criticism after posting on his Facebook page Saturday night that the destruction of monuments is "heinous and horrific" and that Louisiana leaders should be lynched.
The post was in response to the removal of three Confederate monuments and a monument to white supremacy in New Orleans.
Oliver says he was expressing his "passion for preserving all historical monuments" but that the word lynching is never appropriate.
Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant and House Speaker Philip Gunn, also Republicans, issued statements Monday condemning Oliver's post.
Gunn says using the word "lynched" is "inappropriate and offensive." He called on Oliver to apologize.
Bryant says Oliver's language is "unacceptable and has no place in civil discourse."
A New Orleans City Council member says Oliver committed a crime by saying Louisiana leaders should be lynched.
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.
Gray says calling for a lynching "is inciting the murder of American citizens, and that's a crime that ought to be prosecuted."
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