Speed Reads

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Mississippi Republican says Confederate statue removers in Louisiana should be 'lynched'

On Friday, New Orleans completed the removal of the last of four designated Confederate monuments — to the outrage of opponents, who say the decision erases "the history of the city." But The Root reports Mississippi State Rep. Karl Oliver, a Republican, took his outrage a step further this weekend, writing on Facebook that "if the … 'leadership' of Louisiana wishes to, in a Nazi-ish fashion, burn books or destroy historical monuments of our history, they should be lynched!"

Oliver's fellow lawmakers were horrified. "Angered beyond words by the inflammatory remarks made by the representative from District 46," wrote Mississippi Rep. Chris Bell, a Democrat. "His constant and consistent disrespect for those who are offended by the images of hate is unacceptable! I will fight with vigor and tenacity to ensure not only our current state flag is removed along with those images that glorify hate."

Oliver's words are perhaps especially startling as he represents the town of Money, Mississippi, where 14-year-old Emmett Till was lynched in 1955, The Root notes. "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," said Mississippi State Sen. Derrick Simmons (D).

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu has defended the removal of the monuments, calling them "an aberration."

"They're actually a denial of our history and they were done in a time when people who still controlled the Confederacy were in charge of this city and it only represents a four-year period in our 1,000-year march to where we are today," Landrieu said.