JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) — The Mississippi Legislative Black Caucus wants Rep. Karl Oliver to step down after his Facebook comments sparked controversy.
On May 20, Rep. Oliver addressed the recent removal of Confederate monuments in Louisiana on his Facebook page.
Below is the text of the post:
“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.”
Caucus Chair Sonya Williams-Barnes said they group plans on boycotting the Southern Legislative Conference. They want the lawmaker to step down.
“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,” said Williams-Barnes. “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.”
On Monday, Rep. Oliver apologized for his choice of words:
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.
Oliver is a Republican who represents Carroll, Grenada, Leflore, Montgomery, and Webster counties in District 46.