Time for Oliver’s resignation

Published 9:46 am Friday, May 26, 2017

It is time for Rep. Karl Oliver, R-Winona, to resign. He has embarrassed himself, the House of Representatives and the state of Mississippi twice in just more than a year’s time.

Over the weekend, Oliver posted on Facebook about the city of New Orleans’ decision to remove four statues honoring Confederate war heroes. He wrote:

“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!”

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Oliver’s use of “lynched” — in all caps, no less — is clearly the issue, and it is a problem on at least two different levels. For one, Oliver is calling for the murder of people based on their beliefs. You can argue that Oliver was just joking, but this really is not an appropriate thing about which one should joke — especially not a state elected official.

The second problem is that Oliver used the word “lynched” in relation to the Confederacy and civil rights.

Alan Lange, writing at YallPolitics.com, put it best:

“There are really only two scenarios here. Either Karl Oliver meant to cause pain with his statement or he didn’t. If he did, then everyone knows what they’re up against. If he didn’t, then he probably has questionable competency to go to the Capitol and punch a button on policy issues. In relative terms, that’s saying something.”

In other words, Oliver comes up short in either scenario and he should resign.

—The Clarion-Ledger