Confederate-era monuments removed, but controversy remains

Confederate-era monuments removed, but controversy remains

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Four Confederate-era monuments have been taken down, but there is still plenty of controversy surrounding them.

Now, A New Orleans City Council member says a Mississippi lawmaker should be prosecuted for the comment he made about their removal.

In a Facebook post, Mississippi State Rep. Karl Oliver said Louisiana leadership "should be lynched," for what he called the "destruction" of the monuments.

The post has since been removed. Oliver issued an apology and asked for forgiveness saying:

"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."

But, New Orleans City Councilman James A. Gray II said Oliver should be prosecuted for the comment.

"If he made that statement, he is encouraging people to kill people, that's against the law in the United States and he ought to be prosecuted if he's broken the law, pure and simple," said Gray. "You can't just joke and say it was just a political statement. He is encouraging people to commit murder, and he ought to be dealt with for what he has done."

The controversy over the removal of the Confederate-era monuments has also affected a popular New Orleans restaurant. Reginelli's owner apologized on Facebook saying:

"Dear Reginelli's Pizzeria Guests,
An incident has come to my attention that I feel deserves a public apology, along with an explanation. Yesterday, an employee of Reginelli's Pizzeria "liked" a controversial Mitch Landrieu tweet on a phone that was logged into the official Reginelli's Twitter account breaking our company stance of not taking sides on political issues. Once I learned of the situation, I made sure that the tweet was un-liked, but unfortunately not before some damage was done. Now, I feel that everything I have invested in the city is being challenged. It is our policy never to mix politics with business as we believe our role as a company is to toss the perfect pepperoni pizza, to treat our guests as family, and to give back to the communities we serve. Period. For the past twenty years, I, along with many other good people, have worked too hard to build a company of which we can all be proud for it to be sidetracked by a social media error. We apologize to our guests and to the community as a whole for our failure, and we have taken steps to ensure that this won't happen again. We do not take political stances - we make pizza. At no point did I intend to offend anyone or take sides on this issue. Please forgive me for this mistake, and please do not let it change your feelings on the things about which we are most passionate: our food, our city, and the people we serve.
Thank you,
Darryl Reginelli"

Social media expert Tiffany Starnes said social media can escalate very quickly.

"If you're not paying attention, things can get out of control very fast. So it's very important to know what's going on, what's happening. Listen to what people are saying about you and be involved in that conversation so that you can help control the narrative, or at least be a part of it," said Starnes.

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant also issued a statement on the controversial comment from Rep. Oliver, saying "Rep. Oliver's language is unacceptable and has no place in civil discourse."

Copyright WVUE 2017. All rights reserved.