GOP Lawmaker: Lynch Anyone Who Takes Down Confederate Monuments

After condemnation from members of his own party, a Republican member of the Mississippi House of Representatives apologized Monday for calling for the lynching of anyone who removes a Confederate monument, including lawmakers in a neighboring state.

On Saturday, state Rep. Karl Oliver (R) had described the “destruction” of Confederate monuments in Louisiana as “heinous and horrific” and compared leaders in that state to Nazis.

They should be LYNCHED!” Oliver wrote in comments posted on his Facebook page.

(Photo: Karl Oliver)
(Photo: Karl Oliver)

The message drew “likes” from two of Oliver’s fellow Republican lawmakers, state Rep. John Read and state Rep. Doug McLeod, the Jackson Free Press reported.

Oliver’s post came a day after a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee was removed in New Orleans. It was the city’s fourth Confederate memorial to be dismantled in recent days.

On Monday, following press scrutiny and criticism from members of his own party, Oliver removed the post and issued a statement apologizing for his remarks:

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 state’s Republican leaders, including Gov. Phil Bryant, condemned Oliver’s remarks, and the state GOP distanced itself from them, according to Mississippi Today.

“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.”

Democrats in the state blasted Oliver’s call for the violent killing of people he disagrees with.

“I am offended and outraged that a public official in 2017 would, with an obvious conviction and clear conscience, call for and promote one of the most cruel, vicious and wicked acts in American history,” Mississippi state Sen. Derrick Simmons, a Democrat, told The Root.

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State Rep. Sonya Williams-Barnes, a Democratic member of the Mississippi Legislative Black Caucus, decried Oliver’s “shameful, but seemingly extremely comfortable, choice of words.” In an email to Jackson-based CBS station WJTV, Barnes said Oliver’s comments “were offensive to me as the act of lynching was commonly used and most targeted toward African-American men, women and children in the south and especially in our state.”

She also commended Louisiana for removing a number of Confederate memorials and urged her state to do the same.

Oliver made headlines earlier this year for dismissing the concerns of a resident because she wasn’t born in Mississippi, and urged her to leave the state. Oliver, who describes himself as a Christian and has referred to Jesus Christ as the “Prince of Peace,” was elected to a four-year term in 2015 with nearly 57 percent of the vote in his district, according to Ballotpedia.

This post has been updated with comments from GOP leaders and Oliver’s apology.

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Bullying

Even kids who share the same identity -- be it racial or gender -- can be guilty of bullying and discrimination against each other. Ontario's Ministry of Education defines bullying as "a form of repeated, persistent, and aggressive behaviour directed at an individual or individuals that is intended to cause (or should be known to cause) fear and distress and/or harm to another person's body, feelings, self-esteem, or reputation."
Even kids who share the same identity -- be it racial or gender -- can be guilty of bullying and discrimination against each other. Ontario's Ministry of Education defines bullying as "a form of repeated, persistent, and aggressive behaviour directed at an individual or individuals that is intended to cause (or should be known to cause) fear and distress and/or harm to another person's body, feelings, self-esteem, or reputation."

Cyberbullying

Social media can be a platform for bullying to continue even after school is out. Cyberbullying occurs when young people take malicious actions online. through chat rooms, email, social sites and instant messaging.
Social media can be a platform for bullying to continue even after school is out. Cyberbullying occurs when young people take malicious actions online. through chat rooms, email, social sites and instant messaging.

Stock Answer To 'What Are You?'

"You don't need to go into full confessional mode, but have fun with it, if that helps. Or be perfectly honest," author Jonathan R. Miller said. Miller writes e-books with multi-ethnic characters and themes. You don't have to talk about all the nuances of your family tree every time you're asked about your background, he said. That can be exhausting. Find something that works for you personally.
"You don't need to go into full confessional mode, but have fun with it, if that helps. Or be perfectly honest," author Jonathan R. Miller said. Miller writes e-books with multi-ethnic characters and themes. You don't have to talk about all the nuances of your family tree every time you're asked about your background, he said. That can be exhausting. Find something that works for you personally.

Real Answer To 'What Are You?'

"I like the word 'mixed' because it's a messy word, and in my experience growing up mixed is exactly that," Miller said. He suggests that it's important to allow yourself to truly wrestle with questions of identity in environments you consider safe.
"I like the word 'mixed' because it's a messy word, and in my experience growing up mixed is exactly that," Miller said. He suggests that it's important to allow yourself to truly wrestle with questions of identity in environments you consider safe.

A Friend To Confide In

If you are struggling with your identity, you don't have to tell the whole world, but confide in a friend that you trust. Having someone to confide in is important. "If you can, find someone who you can talk to about your most honest, ever-evolving, often-messy answer to the question, 'What am I?'" Miller said.
If you are struggling with your identity, you don't have to tell the whole world, but confide in a friend that you trust. Having someone to confide in is important. "If you can, find someone who you can talk to about your most honest, ever-evolving, often-messy answer to the question, 'What am I?'" Miller said.

If You Can't Speak, Write

"Maybe you don't have anyone trustworthy to talk to honestly about your experiences. Write about them. It helped me, sometimes, to get those out," Miller said.  It may not make a lot of sense initially and it might feel uncomfortably personal, but write. Keep a journal, write short stories and rename the characters, try your hand at poetry -- whatever feels best.
"Maybe you don't have anyone trustworthy to talk to honestly about your experiences. Write about them. It helped me, sometimes, to get those out," Miller said. It may not make a lot of sense initially and it might feel uncomfortably personal, but write. Keep a journal, write short stories and rename the characters, try your hand at poetry -- whatever feels best.

Let Your Identity Be An Open Question

"You are likely being told at different times, more or less, to hurry up and get off the fence, pick a side and get on with it," Miller said. It's not necessarily a bad thing to be unsure of who you are, even if your peers seem to have their acts together, he said. Teenage years are discovery years. Miller also quoted author Rainer Maria Rilke: "'Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart. ... Live in the question.' That's good advice. Difficult to follow, but good."
"You are likely being told at different times, more or less, to hurry up and get off the fence, pick a side and get on with it," Miller said. It's not necessarily a bad thing to be unsure of who you are, even if your peers seem to have their acts together, he said. Teenage years are discovery years. Miller also quoted author Rainer Maria Rilke: "'Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart. ... Live in the question.' That's good advice. Difficult to follow, but good."

Embrace The Chameleon

When it comes to mixed heritage, "you don't have to be 'both' or 'other' or 'all of the above' all of the time. Sometimes the only way to figure out what you are is to choose one thing and be it for a while," Miller said.  Explore how it feels to fully embrace a single aspect of your identity, for short period of time. See "what stick and what slides off." It's simply learning, Miller said.
When it comes to mixed heritage, "you don't have to be 'both' or 'other' or 'all of the above' all of the time. Sometimes the only way to figure out what you are is to choose one thing and be it for a while," Miller said. Explore how it feels to fully embrace a single aspect of your identity, for short period of time. See "what stick and what slides off." It's simply learning, Miller said.

Don't Be Afraid To Abandon The Labels Altogether

"I can't tell you how many multi-racial people I've met who have chosen a single race or ignored race entirely and been perfectly content with the decision. A biracial friend of mine used to tell me, 'I'm black and white, yes, but I'm black. Period,'" Miller said. He said he knows many people have chosen to identify with only one aspect of their multi-background, while others have embraced the blend.
"I can't tell you how many multi-racial people I've met who have chosen a single race or ignored race entirely and been perfectly content with the decision. A biracial friend of mine used to tell me, 'I'm black and white, yes, but I'm black. Period,'" Miller said. He said he knows many people have chosen to identify with only one aspect of their multi-background, while others have embraced the blend.

Get Involved In Life

Find creative ways to occupy your time, Miller said. Join a group or do an activity (with others) where you are empowered to be who you are, instead of having to act how others think you need to be in order to fit in.
Find creative ways to occupy your time, Miller said. Join a group or do an activity (with others) where you are empowered to be who you are, instead of having to act how others think you need to be in order to fit in.

Be Proud Of Who You Are

Take pride in your ethnic (culture, color or religion) heritage. You have no control over your heritage, and you can't change that fact that this is who you are. So embrace it and learn as much as you can. "You may feel like it would be an insult to your heritage to embrace one aspect of yourself above the others, but trust me, it wouldn't be. This is important: it is not your job to uphold, with perfect equity and grace, all of the elements that went into your making," Miller said.
Take pride in your ethnic (culture, color or religion) heritage. You have no control over your heritage, and you can't change that fact that this is who you are. So embrace it and learn as much as you can. "You may feel like it would be an insult to your heritage to embrace one aspect of yourself above the others, but trust me, it wouldn't be. This is important: it is not your job to uphold, with perfect equity and grace, all of the elements that went into your making," Miller said.

Have A Ready Defense Against The Identity Police

"Often they're the 'gatekeepers' that decide whether you're 'in' or 'out.'  But what you can do is have a ready answer for the 'charges' they level against you. Whether you use humour, earnestness, or self-righteous anger, it helps to have your defense lined up and ready," Miller said.      Sometimes people think all the "members" of their cultural or ethnic community must behave, dress and think a certain way. But as an individual, you can do whatever you want and find your own identity.
"Often they're the 'gatekeepers' that decide whether you're 'in' or 'out.' But what you can do is have a ready answer for the 'charges' they level against you. Whether you use humour, earnestness, or self-righteous anger, it helps to have your defense lined up and ready," Miller said. Sometimes people think all the "members" of their cultural or ethnic community must behave, dress and think a certain way. But as an individual, you can do whatever you want and find your own identity.

This article originally appeared on HuffPost.

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