A Georgia state representative has warned a black attorney that people like her “go missing” in his district for discussing the removal of Confederate statues.
Jason Spencer, a state representative for a southeastern Georgia district, issued the warning to attorney LaDawn Jones via Facebook.
“I can guarantee you won’t be met with torches but something a lot more definitive,” Mr Spencer wrote, adding that people like Ms Jones “will go missing in the Okefenokee”.
“Too many necks they are red around here,” he wrote, in screen shots captured by the Atlanta Journal Constitution. “Don’t say I didn’t warn you about ‘em.”
The exchange started when Mr Spencer posted a photo of himself visiting a Confederate monument. Confederates fought to preserve the practise of slavery in the American Civil War, and their monuments have become a point of contention in the United States. The planned removal of one such statue provoked a major white supremacist protest in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Shortly after the rally, Mr Spencer posted a picture of himself visiting the Jefferson Davis Memorial with the caption: “This is Georgia’s history. #DealWithIt.”
So a GA State Rep told one of his black colleagues she would be murdered if she tried to go to South GA to get rid of confederate monuments pic.twitter.com/qEUJkDjOHD
— Black Aziz Ansari 👏 (@Freeyourmindkid) August 29, 2017
Ms Jones, a former state representative herself, responded by asking if state tax dollars were going toward the memorial.
“I’ll deal with it but don’t want to pay for it,” she wrote.
The conversation devolved into a social-media showdown on the future of Confederate monuments in Georgia, with Ms Jones predicting people would “tear that shit down”, and Mr Spencer warning her that “people in South Georgia are people of action, not drama”.
“Continue your quixotic journey into South Georgia and it will not be pleasant. The truth. Not a warning,” he wrote. “Those folks won’t put up with it like they do in Atlanta. It [sic] best you move on.”
Mr Spencer told the Journal Constitution that his comments were not meant as a threat, but as a warning to Ms Jones about “how people can behave about this issue”.
“She is from Atlanta – and the rest of Georgia sees this issue very differently,” he said. “Just trying to keep her safe if she decided to come down and raise hell about the memorial in the back yards of folks who will see this as an unwelcome…