State Rep. Brooks Gets Hateful, Racist Email Over Slavery Apology Bill

Matthew Cardinale, Atlanta Progressive News, April 16, 2007

Georgia State Rep. Tyrone Brooks has requested an investigation by the Georgia Bureau of Investigations (GBI) over a racist email he received a few weeks ago, Atlanta Progressive News has learned.

Rep. Brooks said he was originally unfazed by the email because he has received many others before. But when his colleaguesat the NAACP, Rainbow Push, SCLC, the Legislative Black Caucus, and the Georgia Association of Black Elected Officials, which he directssaw the email, they insisted he forward the email to the GBI.

“THE ONLY THING WE NEED TO BE SORRY FOR IS BRINGING SORRY N*****S OVER HERE IN THE FIRST PLACE. YOU LAZY N*****S ONLY WANT AN APOLOGY AND ACCEPTANCE OF RESPONSIBILITY SO YOU LAZY BUCK TOOTHED C***S CAN GET MORE FREE MONEY,” the email, obtained by Atlanta Progressive News, said.

APN attempted to contact the writer of the email. An email sent to the email address where the racist, hateful email was sent from, was not returned immediately.

“We’ll attempt to identify the sender. If that’s not possible [we’ll] maintain the file in our intelligence section in case the individual tries something like this again,” John Bankhead, Media spokesperson for the GBI, told Atlanta Progressive News.

“It’s not as easy as it seems [to trace an email] because of different service providers and software you could use to deflect tracing of the email,” Bankhead said. “Sometimes identifying the person and talking to that person sends a message.”

The GBI isn’t sure if it qualifies as a hate crime and that is under review. “Hateful languate is a bordeline issue but can also be a First Amendment issue. We’re looking into it,” Bankhead said, declining to describe it as a formal investigation.

“I’m sure they will investigate it, they’ll try to contact that person,” Rep. Brooks told Atlanta Progressive News in an interview. “They’ll probably go through the AOL account,” the sender used.

“The Civil Rights community asked me to send it to the GBI, when they saw it a few weeks ago. Finally last week it crossed mind, you just never know,” Brooks said.

“We pray that person will shed the disease called racism. We trust the law enforcement community to do the right thing,” Brooks said.

“I’ve been reciving those uglyI’ve been receiving threats all my Civil Rights career since I was a teenager. I’ve gotten so many of them sometimes I don’t pay any attention. I didn’t [send it to the GBI] right away, I thought about it. I’ve had verbal threats, I’ve had written threats,” Brooks said.

But he says he has not become afraid of walking around. ‘No I cannot let fear get in the way of what I have to do every day. I can’t led fear impede the progress we’re trying to make in our society. I think it violates federal and state statutes, it’s a form of hate and intimidation. I take that as a threat,” Brooks said.

“It seems to me there are people in our society who feel that slavery and Jim Crow and legal segregation was a way of life that should have been continued and when you talk about an apology to those persons it inflames a degree of racism and opposition that is unbelievable. It brings out the worst in some human beings,” Brooks said.

“YOU DUMBASSES ALREADY PAY THE IDIOT TAX, I MEAN PLAY THE LOTTERY. WHAT ABOUT AN APOLOGY TO THE INDIANS . SLAVERY PUT YOU SORRY ASSES TO WORK. NOW IT’S ALL ABOUT THE FALSE TAX RETURNS, THE DEPENDENTS YOU C***S CLAIM THAT IS SOMEONE ELSE’S C**N AND SCREWING WHOEVER ELSE YOU CAN SCREW OUT OF MONEY BECAUSE YOU THINK IT’S OWED TO YOU,” the email writer said.

“If that person’s so bold enough to send an ugly email like that, who knows what else they may attempt to do,” Rep. Brooks said.

Brooks has been leading the effort to have Georgia issue a formal apology for condoning slavery and even contracting slaves through the government. However, State Republicans have not been very supportive of the bill, with some saying it’s not necessary.

“There is a possibility we will have language to prepare a resolution for introduction in both Chambers, but I do not see a resolution passing this Session. That means it will carry over to the next Session,” Brooks said.

“I think there are some lawmakers who now understand that we have no other choice to join Virginia, Maryland, and North Carolina. It’s going to happen, I can’t tell you when, but just as sure as I’m talking to you today, the State of Georgia will issue a formal resolution for (Georgia’s role in) the slave trade industry,” Brooks said.

About the author:

Matthew Cardinale is the News Editor of Atlanta Progressive News. He may be reached at matthew@atlantaprogressivenews.com

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