What 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! Let it be known, I will do all in my power to prevent this from happening in our State.”
The ResponseOliver’s Facebook page was quickly flooded with comments denouncing him. Dawn Beasley Macke was particularly pointed in her criticism.
“It’s funny you equate this to Nazis, yet no one in Germany fights tooth and nail and whines incessantly to display the swastika,” she wrote on his Facebook page. “Just another ignorant, narrow-minded, white–and I use this term loosely–’leader’ dragging our state down into mockery once more.”
Notably, two of Oliver’s Republican colleagues ‘liked’ the status, including Rep. John Read of Gautier and Rep. Doug Mcleod of Lucedale. On Saturday, Mcleod shared a change.org petition on his Facebook page calling for the Justice Department to charge New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu with federal crimes for removal of the monuments.
New Orleans’ removal of Confederate monuments
On Friday, New Orleans took down a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, as a crowd below shouted, “Take him down!” and “Hey hey hey, goodbye!” The 60-foot-tall statue, which had been there since 1884, was the last of four statues New Orleans decided to remove earlier this year. New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu had been pushing for the removal of statues honoring the Confederacy since neo-Confederate Dylann Roof killed 9 black Charleston churchgoers in 2015.
The city began taking down the Confederate monuments in April on Confederate Memorial Day. The first statue they removed had an inscription on it that explicitly endorsed “white supremacy” by name.
Mitch Landrieu speaksLandrieu – one the leaders seemingly implied in Oliver’s comment – called the removal of the monuments the “right thing” to do, reminding residents of the city’s history in which human beings “were bought, sold and shipped up the Mississippi River to lives of forced labor, of misery, of rape and torture.” He additionally justified the removal of the monuments by arguing that the men they revered fought against the United States. “They may have been warriors, but in this cause they were not patriots.”
Karl Oliver’s history of controversy
Oliver is the same representative who made national headlines last year when he told a constituent who had emailed him that he could “care less” about her concerns and that she should move out of the state. The constituent, Becky Guidry, of Gulfport, had sought to express her concerns about a tax break that was being considered by the legislature at the time.