The Latest: Black lawmakers condemn rep's lynching remark

AP News
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Posted: Jun 05, 2017 11:52 PM

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The Latest on a white Mississippi lawmaker's remark about lynching (all times local):

10:40 p.m.

Eleven black lawmakers in Mississippi are publicly condemning a white colleague's online remark that people should be lynched for removing Confederate monuments.

Members of the Legislative Black Caucus spent more than an hour and a half making speeches late Monday. Mississippi legislators were meeting in special session to finish a state budget.

Republican Rep. Karl Oliver said May 20 on Facebook that Louisiana leaders had acted like Nazis in taking down Confederate statues in New Orleans. He apologized on Facebook on May 22, then apologized privately to some black colleagues Monday — the first time lawmakers were back in session since then.

Oliver listened to all of the speeches condemning his remark, showing no emotion. He left the Capitol without responding.

Democratic Rep. Robert Johnson says Oliver's original remark reinforced the stereotype that people from Mississippi are stupid and backward.

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3:29 p.m.

A white Mississippi lawmaker has been privately apologizing to many of his black colleagues, more than two weeks after saying people should be lynched for removing Confederate monuments.

Legislators were in session Monday for the first time since Republican Rep. Karl Oliver of Winona posted the remark to Facebook on May 20.

Oliver posted a general apology on Facebook May 22. He says Monday he stands by that apology and is offering one-on-one apologies to black colleagues who will listen.

Democratic Rep. Bryant Clark of Pickens, who is black, says Oliver told him the lynching remark "did not come from his heart." Clark says Oliver should stand before the House and apologize. Oliver says he doesn't plan to do that.

A Senate committee rejected a resolution urging Oliver to resign.