MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - A Republican Alabama legislator is drawing criticism from members across the aisle after an email was circulated Wednesday in the House referencing monkeys, a term considered by many to be a racist slur against African Americans.
The email, which members of the House Black Caucus said was circulated by Rep. Lynn Greer, R-Limestone County, is titled "Subject: POLITICS Psychology From one of my constituents. Very heartwarming."
Greer confirmed that he forwarded the email and released a statement following uproar from House Democrats. That statement reads:
The email begins:
Black legislators called a news conference Wednesday afternoon to condemn the email. Rep. John Knight, D-Montgomery, read from the piece as nearly 20 other legislators stood beside him.
Knight called it one of the most offensive messages he's ever seen sent from one lawmaker to others and added that "we are not going to take this and be disrespected."
Rep. Merika Coleman, D- Birmingham, said she believes the letter's "monkeys" are a reference to black legislators.
Democrats have slowed much of the legislature's business in recent days of the waning session as a protest of GOP legislation after a federal judge ordered legislative districts be redrawn.