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GOP lawmaker apologizes after urging that officials removing Confederate statues ‘should be lynched’

A Mississippi state representative has apologized after posting on Facebook that Louisiana officials who authorized the removal of Confederate statues “should be LYNCHED,” according to The Clarion-Ledger.

In a Facebook post that has since been removed, Republican state Rep. Karl Oliver took issue with the controversial ongoing removal of Confederate monuments in New Orleans. Some observers characterized the monuments as part of the town’s history, while others said they glorified white supremacy.

Oliver called for the lynching of those who support the removal of the monuments:

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.

Oliver’s post quickly gained attention online, and his apparent call for violence was widely condemned.

Gov. Phil Bryant (R-Miss.) said in a statement, “Rep. Oliver’s language is unacceptable and has no place in civil discourse.”

Mississippi Democratic state Rep. Jeramey Anderson called Oliver’s comment “a shame.”

I strongly condemn the statement by my colleague Rep. Karl Oliver—it’s hateful, offensive and ignorant. In 2017, it’s a shame. #msleg pic.twitter.com/JoDItSl0kW

— Rep Jeramey Anderson (@jerameyanderson) May 22, 2017

The Clarion-Ledger reported that Oliver apologized in a written statement:

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.

The Jackson Free Press reported that Oliver also erroneously claimed that the New Orleans statues are facing “destruction.”

“In fact, they are being moved and stored with plans to display them in museums in the future,” the outlet noted.

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