A black legislator who sent a racially charged email to a white constituent will not face any punishment - - But it does have people talking about the conduct of state lawmakers.
It started when a man in birmingham sent an email to all legislators asking for them to not support a gun control bill. Representative Joe Mitchell from Mobile emailed the man back with a very derogatory reply.
Political analyst Steve Flowers says he used to work with Rep. Joe Mitchell in the legislature.
"He is a liberal legislator by Alabama standards, but I like him. I like him a lot. He's gotta good heart, I think," said Flowers.
But Mitchell's recent comments in an email to a birmingham man came as a surprise.
Rep. Mitchell didn't mince words when he responded to the email about gun control.
Mitchell told the emailer that his ancestors were, "slave-holding, murdering, adulterous, baby-raping, incestuous... kin folk."
While his words may be rude, racist or wrong, Flowers says there is not much that can be done about it.
"There would be some repercussion if Joe had made that statement to a fellow legislator on the floor of the House. There's still no legality in it. There would have been some possibility of some type of censorship and there are rules against that," said Flowers.
House Democrat Leader Craig Ford says Mitchell only speaks for himself, not the rest of the legislators. And Republican House Speaker Mike Hubbard says there won't be any punishment since it was free speech.
Alabama News Network asked you on Facebook what you thought about Representative Mitchell's email.
Greg Luckie says, "No he should not be punished by his fellow lawmakers but hopefully by the voters. Our soldiers have died and been injured to give him the right to show his ignorance."
Kendra Benefield Lausman says, "How is that not hate speech, at the least it is racist and should not be allowed? I mean seriously he is supposed to represent the best of our state and he is talking/typing like a low-class, under-educated, trash-mouth."
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