A Mississippi lawmaker's racially charged Facebook remarks cost him a leadership post in the legislature. As MPB's Desare Frazier reports, the state representative said Louisiana leaders who removed Confederate monuments should be lynched.
Saturday night, Mississippi House Republican Karl Oliver of Winona, posted remarks on his Facebook page, saying the destruction of Confederate monuments in New Orleans, is quote heinous and horrific unquote. He accused Louisiana officials of acting in a Nazi-like fashion and they should be lynched. Republican Speaker of the House Philip Gunn says he called Oliver Monday morning.
"I called on him to immediately retract and apologize for that and also informed him that his vice chairmanship would be revoked," said Gunn.
Oliver, a first-term lawmaker, was Vice Chairman of the House Forestry Committee. Gunn condemned Oliver's comments at a press luncheon in Jackson. The speaker says he also called House Republicans, Doug McLeod of Lucedale, and John Read, of Gautier. Read chairs the appropriations committee. Both posted likes to Oliver's comments.
"I let him know I just didn't think that was right and I trust that they have corrected it by now," said Gunn.
Oliver issued a statement yesterday apologizing, saying he freely admits his choice of words was horribly wrong, and humbly asks for forgiveness. The Facebook post has been removed. House Democrat Jarvis Dortch of Hinds County, is a member of the Black Caucus. He says he's upset by Oliver's posting, but more disturbed by Read liking the comments, because he's the appropriations chair.
"That bothers me probably more than anything because he's a person that has a lot of power in this state," said Dortch.
Governor Phil Bryant commented on Oliver's Facebook post saying, his language is unacceptable and has no place in civil discourse. MPB called Representatives Doug McLeod and John Read. McLeod didn't return our call and Read's phone was busy much of Monday afternoon.