When a citizen sent a pro-2nd amendment email to the publicly available addresses of almost every member of the legislature, Rep. Joseph Mitchell (D-Mobile) decided it was time to get a few things off his chest. A Senator forwarded me the ensuing email thread, as both Mitchell and the citizen continued to CC pretty much everyone in the legislature. The unedited text of the emails is below. The only thing I’ve removed is a portion of the initial email from the citizen that was simply copy and pasted text from the State’s constitution and from a Supreme Court ruling. The citizen included these excerpts in his email to support the point he was making.
Initial email from the citizen
Can the officers of our state government change our constitution when the change is forbidden by the people? The Supreme Court of Alabama has ruled that it cannot in an opinion dealing with another matter where change is forbidden. You have sworn to support our constitution. You have defined a violation of an oath in an official proceeding as a class C felony (C.O.A. Section 13A-10-101 Perjury in the first degree).
Do not violate your oath of office by introducing additional gun control bills or by allowing those already enacted to remain in the body of our laws.
Rep. Joseph Mitchell’s response
Hey man. You have used the word ‘except’ when I think you mean somethin’ else.
Hey man. Your folk never used all this sheit to protect my folk from your slave-holding, murdering, adulterous, baby-raping, incestuous, snaggle-toothed, backward-a**ed, inbreed, 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)
Rep. Mitchell and other members of the Legislature of Alabama,
That’s not the type of reply I expect to receive from a state legislator. The lack of response to your racist comments from your fellow members speaks volumes about the state of our legislature as a whole.
I’m not a racist and I find your reply to be especially offensive considering the position you hold.
My parents and grandparents taught me to love God and my fellow man as myself. My father was threatened by members of his church back in 1954 for inviting a black family to attend the church he pastored.
My father-in-law was threatened when he hired a young negro man to work in his shop back in 1968 in a community where several neighbors were members of the Ku Klux Klan. He didn’t allow those threats to keep him from treating people of all races equally.
In 1969, I was a draftee in the US Army and bunked with a young negro man named Earl Shinholster at Fort Benning. Earl later became a prominent leader of the NAACP back home in Georgia after serving with me in the Army. When I received numerous racist threats from negroes who knew I lived near Birmingham, Earl warned me of the knives they carried and cautioned me to be more careful around them. Earl had been watching me and he had come to know and respect me for my Christian values. Earl and I became friends and he helped me get through some tough times there.
Racism is not exclusive to my own people. I learned that before 1955. It is just as ugly now as it was then, regardless of the race of the person who is consumed by it.
I love my country and my state, and I vowed to support and defend our constitutions. I expect you and all of our representative to do the same.
Rep. Mitchell’s final response
I grew up in Albany Ga. I was a military brat for most of my youth. Air Jump Master and DI USMC. Because I preference my issues with the values that I learned in ‘the heat of battle’ during the mid-fifties through the ‘70’s and into today might tell you what and who I am. I find no need to define it or explain it to you because you can identify with the threats of reprisals against your folk for helping somebody of African Descent. I know ol’ Ft. Benning and Columbus like the palm of my hand.
Where were you during the Albany Movement? Oh…. You shoulda been there. I am certain that your experiences through how your kin folk ‘helped’ colored folk would have helped us a lot when we were bombed in Albany, Leesburg, Newton and Sylvester.
I apologize for the restless nights your folk endured out of fear of the Klan. At least as they stood on the sidewalk watching my cousins and me get beat up by some of your neighbors they were able to push you out into the street to physically intervene. They did do that didn’t they? Oh …. Well, I rear where you were one of the first to integrate the all-colored school to prove your parents point.
Do you that your fathers ‘black’ friend was unable to get FHA benefits? Knowing about those knives and stuff were of benefit but did you know that colored military typically carried knives to protect themselves from folk who looked like your father? Historically, violence on Black folk was committed by White folk. It’s a fact but is it ‘racist?’ It is ‘racial.’ I had seven uncles and three aunts who served in three different ‘encounters. My father was Regular Army.
A person without the power to exercise a threat cannot be a racist because he or she will be eliminated. A person who can, by merely stepping back on the sidewalk’ ore 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. For that matter, you will never convince me that our discomforts were comparable. Let the next generations resolve this continuing story.
Lock and load.