The Mississippi Legislative Black Caucus has called for the immediate resignation of State Representative Karl Oliver following inflammatory remarks made on his Facebook page over the weekend.
The post read:
“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.”
The Black Caucus released this statement calling for Oliver’s resignation:
“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,” says MS Black Caucus Chairperson, Sonya 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.”
The MS Legislative Black Caucus is boycotting the upcoming Southern Legislative Conference as a part of its ongoing protest against the Confederate symbols on the state flag.
“We remain steadfast in our commitment to fight racism and to move our state forward. MS is losing millions of dollars in tourism and economic development because of our unwillingness as a state to move past our sordid racial history”, Williams-Barnes continued.
The Caucus continued by saying Rep. Oliver’s statement and the Confederate symbol on the state flag go hand in hand in sending the message that all are not welcome. Changing the flag is a direct action moving in the right direction as a collective body and it is the right thing to do. An apology is just mere protocol; it is not enough. If these comments are truly not the mindset of the body, change the flag and demand the resignation of Karl Oliver.
Speaker of the House Philip Gunn said he had received numerous calls saying Oliver should be fired.
“That’s between him and his district,” said Gunn. “I can’t fire him. Now his district can decide if they want him come the next election time.”