“I, first and foremost, wish to extend this apology for any embarrassment I have caused to both my colleagues and fellow Mississippians,” Oliver wrote in an email.
“In an effort to express my passion for preserving all historical monuments, I acknowledge the word ‘lynched’ was wrong,” Oliver said.
“I am very sorry. It is in no way, ever, an appropriate term,” he continued. “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.”
When reached by phone Monday, Oliver, who was at the State Capitol, declined an in-person interview. He said he did not have anything further to say beyond his statement.
“This is not what I intended,” Oliver said. He removed the Facebook post from his page shortly after issuing the apology.
The post, which was written Saturday evening, condemned the removal of the four Confederate monuments from the city of New Orleans.
“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!” Oliver wrote.
Rep. Karl Oliver: Those removing Confederate monuments ‘should be lynched’
Gov. Phil Bryant and Speaker of the House Philip Gunn, along with other Republican officials, denounced Oliver’s statement. Gunn called on Oliver to apologize.
“Rep. Oliver’s language is unacceptable and has no place in civil discourse,” Bryant said in an email Monday morning.
New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, a Democrat who pushed for removal of the statues, emailed this response to Mississippi Today about Oliver’s post: “Now that everyone can see Mississippi State Rep. Oliver’s position on the matter clearly, his message proves our fight to tackle the issue of race head on is both right and necessary.”
Gunn, R-Clinton, also condemned Oliver’s words in an emailed statement, writing “They do not reflect the views of the Republican party, the leadership of the House of Representatives or the House as a whole. Using the word “lynched” is inappropriate and offensive.”
At a Stennis Capitol Press Forum, Gunn told a room full of press, lobbyists and other government stakeholders that he revoked Oliver’s position as vice-chairman of the House Forestry Committee.
“(Oliver’s post) does not reflect the values of the leadership in the House, and for that reason he will no longer be part of the leadership,” Gunn said. “I’ve done what I believe is appropriate and immediate and I will continue to monitor that.”
He also reiterated the statement he made earlier Monday morning, saying there is no stronger word to use than “condemn” for Oliver’s “unfortunate social media episode.”
“I’ve done the best I can in the amount of time I’ve had to fool with it,” Gunn said. “I’ve called on the man to retract his statement, I’ve called on the man to apologize, and I disciplined him with the only thing I really have to discipline him with.”
Gunn said he also called Rep. John Read, R-Gautier and Rep. Doug McLeod, R-Lucedale to tell them their choice to “like” Oliver’s post on Facebook was a bad decision, but they will not face the same punishment.
Read liked Oliver’s post when it was originally posted, but later unliked it. He said he doesn’t remember hitting the like button himself. When asked for a comment on the language in the post, Read said to talk to Oliver. McLeod could not be reached for comment.
“Rep. Oliver’s comments were offensive, do not represent the Mississippi Republican Party and have no place in our public discourse,” Mississippi Republican Party Chairman Joe Nosef said in a statement. “I hope he will quickly clear up his remarks to make his point without these inappropriate comments.”
State Treasurer Lynn Fitch also called Monday on Oliver to apologize: “I call on Rep. Oliver to apologize for and remove his hateful words. His language does not reflect my views or those of the vast majority of Mississippians. I am disappointed that it is statements like his that make headlines for our great State and not all the things that make Mississippi such a wonderful place to live.”
Rep. Toby Barker, R-Hattiesburg, criticized Oliver on Twitter.
“Incredibly disappointed in Karl Oliver’s remarks. Troubled that in 2017, these comments are still occurring,” the tweet said.
Sen. Sollie Norwood, D-Jackson, rejected Oliver’s apology and said the leadership should call for his resignation.
“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 can’t just sit idly by and let this happen,” Norwood said in a statement. “I think if the leadership in Mississippi state government wants to be responsible they should join the call for Representative Oliver’s resignation. ”
(Mississippi Today reporter Ashley F.G. Norwood is the daughter of Sen. Norwood.)
Attorney Carlos Moore indicated on Facebook he would be filing a federal civil lawsuit against Oliver and the two lawmakers who liked the post. Moore also has a pending lawsuit against Gov. Phil Bryant to remove the state flag.
In an emailed statement, Attorney General Jim Hood’s spokesperson Margaret Ann Morgan said the law states it is illegal to threaten a person online, but Oliver did not threaten a specific individual.
“Section 97-29-45 (1)(b) of the Mississippi Code, makes it a crime to use electronic means to threaten a person or his/her property. Although this particular electronic communication did not arise to a crime by conveying a specific threat to a person, this is a good opportunity to remind people to think before posting comments on social media.”
Oliver, who was elected to office in 2016, also received a torrent of backlash last year when he told a Gulfport woman he ‘could care less’ about her concerns about tax breaks being considered by the Legislature. He also suggested she move out of the state.
“I see you are not a native to the Great State of Mississippi nor do you and I have similar political views,” he wrote to Becky Guidry. “I appreciate you going to the trouble to share yours with me, but quite frankly, and with all due respect, I could care less.”
He then said he recommended Guidry return to Illinois, where “there are a rather large number of like minded citizens.”
Winter Institute helped New Orleans address Confederate monuments
Contributing: Larrison Campbell and Adam Ganucheau
Vote his sorry a$$ out Mississippians, stand up to this racist clown!!!
I can’t understand you with that nigger cock shoved down your throat you cuck. Anyone removing ANYTHING Confederate deserves lynching. You do too Black Cock Lover.
I am going to guess you are male because you sound like a stupid immature boy, you racist POS. Grow the eff up, the south will never rise again with ignorant fawks like yourself. Have a good day as I am done with you!!!
Thanks for the UpVote, Nana and P.s. been reading some of your post and even out context–as they are for me–I like you!
“I’m sorry everyone saw my comments on a public forum. I’ll be more discreet with muh hertage support next time.”
Another cuck with a big black dick in their mouth. How do you talk so much like that? You suck nigger balls too.
Another adult baby mad online over internet comments! Tell grandma it’s time to change your Huggies.
Lots of projection in your post. Trouble brewing in the single wide?
don’t take your loved ones to oliver or lee KKK funeral home in wacona MS this racist pig may lynch the remains..
Is your fantasy to watch him lynch the dead remains, faggot?
It’s my fantasy that you and your other inbred friends learn some better insults. One can dream, I guess.
He needs to resign. But no one really expects decent behavior from anyone with an (R) next to their name any longer. How low and disgustingly putrid the GoP has become.
I guess you love the ones with D next to their name-for Dicks. Big Black Dicks like you suck on.
Sorry for my poor choice of words…? I guess he meant hung or hanged.
Oliver was absolutely correct. Mitch ‘niggerlover’ Landrieu needs to be strung up from the column that the Lee Statue was removed from for all to see what happens to race traitors like him. Fuck that bald headed cuck. All the rest can be hung from trees.
Appears Koch brother prossie (aka a hooker) Rep. Karl Oliver has secured his FB page. Comments were being deleted in real time. The heartening thing about the condemnations is they were mostly respectful; and came from a wide spectrum & array of the human race.
Now my fellow (misguided) human beings below obsessed w/black male genitals; seriously you need to delve further into your subconscious. If you study the history you fetishize you may recognize that the institution of oppression & bondage was not only a violation of basic human rights; but it was also a sick, rapicious, pathological, hateful sexual brutalization of black bodies. Maybe some homoerotic issues. Dudes WTF!!!!! Lol!!!!
This low intellect Neanderthal should be forced to resign. When are white Mississippians going to learn that political and religious charlatans like Oliver have one goal which is to keep you ignorant so that you’ll continue to support him and his family while doing absolutely nothing for yours. Help yourself and call for this inbred creeps resignation.
Anyone remember Gene Alday and his comments of the racist remarks of Bubba Carpenter?
Mississippi hasn’t progressed as much as we like to tell ourselves.
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