A Missouri legislator on Wednesday called for a vandal who defaced a Confederate statue to be lynched.
State Rep. Warren Love (R) was responding on Facebook to a story about an unidentified vandal who threw paint on a Confederate memorial in Springfield National Cemetery, the Riverfront Times reported.
The paper published a screenshot of Love’s Facebook post above the article, which he quickly deleted.
“This is totally against the law,” Love wrote. “I hope they are found & hung from a tall tree with a long rope. National Veterans Cemetery in Springfield, Mo.”
Love later told the paper he didn’t mean for the post to be taken literally. The threat recalled killings that the Ku Klux Klan and other white supremacy groups used to enforce strict racial hierarchies.
“That was an exaggerated statement that, you know, a lot of times is used in the Western world when somebody does a crime or commits theft,” he said. “That’s just a Western term and I’m very much a Western man. You know, I wear a coat. You know, I dress Western. And, you know, I’m the cowboy of the Capitol.”
There was another case of ramped-up rhetoric earlier this week.
In Georgia on Monday, a Republican state legislator told his former Democratic colleague of four years that she would “go missing” and encounter “something a lot more definitive” than torches if she continued to advocate for tearing down Confederate monuments in the state.
The Democrat, LaDawn Jones, said she didn’t take the threat personally. But, she told TPM, when she called Rep. Jason Spencer to discuss his remarks, she said he told her: “I was just giving you fair warning.”