Rep. Warren Love shared in a Facebook post on Wednesday that he hoped vandals who destroyed a Confederate monument were ‘hung from a tall tree’
A Missouri lawmaker is facing calls to resign after he posted a message to Facebook which some said appeared to demand the lynching of Confederate statue vandals.
Republican Rep. Warren Love, 67, of Osceola, Missouri, was reacting to a news report of a Confederate statue at the Springfield National Cemetery in Missouri that was covered with paint.
In his post, he condemned the vandals and said that it what they did was ‘totally against the law’ and that he hoped ‘they are found and hung from a tall tree with a long rope.’
The post has since been deleted although Love denies taking it down himself.
In response Love said people had interpreted his post ‘to be rather harsh and inciting violence.’
‘I did not mean it that way and was only using and old cowboy statement that is a western custom of a penalty for thieves that steal cattle and horses and to all who this post offended I am very sorry.’
Love, who ranches, said the term was a ‘cowboy slang statement,’ and not a call for lynching and that he meant to point out in his post that ‘it’s terrible when someone vandalizes or desecrates an object of remembrance.’
The post from Rep. Love’s Facebook. It has since been deleted although he denies doing it himself
But Love has still received criticism from House Minority Leader Gail McCann Beatty who said he should resign.
‘In calling for the lynching of those who vandalized a Confederate statute in Springfield, state Rep. Warren Love invoked a form of political violence used throughout the South to keep African-Americans subjugated for generations following the fall of the Confederacy,’ McCann Beatty said.
‘For that he must resign.’
McCann Beatty also said Confederate monuments ‘are monuments to white supremacy – there is no separating the two.’
Stephen Webber, the chairman of the Missouri Democratic Party, called for Love’s resignation as well.
He shared in a tweet: ‘This is a call for lynching by a sitting State Representative.’
The Confederate monument at the Springfield National Cemetery that was vandalized
‘Calls for political violence are unacceptable. He needs to resign.’
Rep. Shamed Dogan of Ballwin, Missouri, the only black Republican in the Legislature, also posted a screenshot of the Facebook post and condemned it, according to STL Today.
He posted in a tweet: ‘Vandalizing property is wrong, but hoping for people to be hung/lynched over it?? Way over the line!! What is wrong with us #moleg?’
Love said he’s a member of both the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War and Sons of Confederate Veterans.
He sponsored legislation this year and in 2016 that would protect state historic military monuments and other memorials under Missouri Department of Natural Resources control, including Confederate monuments, from being moved or created without public input and an advisory council vote.
This is the second time in as many weeks that a Missouri state lawmaker has been asked to step down over a Facebook post.
Democratic Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal in mid-August said she wrote ‘I hope Trump is assassinated!’ in response to a post that suggested Vice President Mike Pence would try to have Trump removed from office.
She later took the post down and apologized and refused to resign, despite pressure from top Missouri Democrats and Republicans.