Alabama State Rep. Joe Mitchell (D-Mobile) raised eyebrows on Wednesday after a local blog picked up an email he had sent to a constituent blasting the man's "slave-holding, murdering, baby-raping, incestuous" ancestors.
The Alabama conservative blog Yellow Hammer Politics reported that Mitchell, who is black, sent the racially charged email to Alabama resident Eddie Maxwell in January in response to a mass letter Maxwell sent to state legislators demanding they “not violate [their] oath of office by introducing additional gun control bills or by allowing those already enacted to remain in the body of our laws.”
Roughly one hour later, Mitchell responded to Maxwell with the following email:
Hey man. You have used the word ‘except’ when I think you mean somethin’ else.
Hey man. Your folk never used all this sheit [sic] to protect my folk from your slave-holding, murdering, adulterous, baby-raping, incestuous, snaggle-toothed, backward-a**ed, inbreed [sic], imported criminal-minded kin folk. You can keep sending me stuff like you have however because it helps me explain to my constituents why they should protect that 2nd amendment thing AFTER we finish stocking up on spare parts, munitions and the like.
Bring it. As one of my friends in the Alabama Senate suggested – “BRING IT!!!!”
JOSEPHm, a prepper (’70-’13)
Maxwell responded two weeks later on Feb. 11 and told Mitchell his email was “not the type of reply I expect to receive from a state legislator,” calling Mitchell’s words “especially offensive.” He criticized other members of the Alabama legislature -- who were included as recipients on the full correspondence -- for not speaking out against Mitchell’s email.
“The lack of response to your racist comments from your fellow members speaks volumes about the state of our legislature as a whole,” Maxwell wrote.
Maxwell’s second email prompted Rep. Patricia Todd (D-Birmingham) to condemn Mitchell’s remarks, writing to Maxwell that she was “saddened by the tone of my colleague's email.”
Two days later, Mitchell again emailed Maxwell, but offered no apology or acknowledgement of his previous comments.
“Eddie, a person without the power to exercise a threat cannot be a racist because he or she will be eliminated,” Mitchell wrote in the email. “A person who can, by merely stepping back on the sidewalk’ ore [sic] being quiet can support racism and benefit from the ‘first hired,’ affirmative action, preferential treatment fostered by systemic racism and bigotry.”
“It is unlikely that I, through sharing my many experiences on the receiving end, will convince you of your errors,” Mitchell added. “For that matter, you will never convince me that our discomforts were comparable. Let the next generations resolve this continuing story.”
He signed the exchange, “Lock and load. jmitchell.”
Mitchell, who has been a member of the Alabama legislature since 1994, contends the emails were merely intended to explain to Maxwell that African Americans have a different understanding of the state constitution, telling the Associated Press that black residents have been disenfranchised by Alabama's constitution in the past, whereas white residents like Maxwell have not.
Maxwell told AL.com that he hopes the state’s legislative leaders take disciplinary action against Mitchell for his comments.
“I think [Mitchell] needs to be called in to face his actions,” Maxwell said. “I think he at least needs to be questioned about it.”