The United Macedonian Diaspora (UMD), the voice of our nation’s half a million Americans of Macedonian heritage, deeply mourns the untimely passing of our friend Congressman Paul Mitchell, a staunch advocate for Macedonia’s right to self-determination. UMD extends its condolences to Sherry and the entire Mitchell family.
Congressman Mitchell served two terms in the U.S. Congress, representing the 10th Congressional District of Michigan – home to the largest population of Macedonian-Americans in the United States. He was the Co-Chair of the Congressional Caucus on Macedonia and Macedonian-Americans and the recipient of the 2018 UMD Macedonia Friendship Award. He retired from Congress in December 2020. During his time in Congress, Paul Mitchell demonstrated a willingness to tell truth to power.
In February 2018, he made headlines in Macedonia and among the global Macedonian diaspora after he said, “No one got to tell us what our name would be (speaking in reference to the United States), we didn’t have to change our name to make other people happy…every nation gets to determine what their name is, what their rights should be, and other nations do not get to stand in the way of that – we’ll talk to the Greeks and get them to grow up.”
In February 2019, Congressman Mitchell raised the issue of the systematic discrimination against the Macedonian minority in Greece in the Congressional Record, which will forever remain in the record. Anytime a member of Congress, congressional staffer, or researcher searches the terms “Macedonia,” “Greece,” or “Macedonian minority,” his remarks will appear.
UMD President Metodija A. Koloski said the following:
“I am still in shock over Congressman Mitchell’s passing. We were supposed to speak just a few weeks back to catch up on Macedonia and I am saddened we didn’t have this opportunity.”
“Elie Wiesel once said, “‘We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”
“Congressman Mitchell stood by Macedonia and spoke up to defend Macedonians’ right to self-determination and human rights, when others in Congress and our nation remained silent and watched while our name was changed to appease our oppressor, Greece.”
“Congressman Mitchell understood, he never hesitated, he never backed down – I’ll never forget our conversations and his leadership on Macedonian issues in Congress.”
“The Macedonian community in Michigan, and the world, will forever remain indebted to him.”
Bog Da Go Prosti! Memory Eternal!
Below are a couple of video remarks by Congressman Mitchell and below that a gallery of photos featuring Congressman Mitchell at Macedonian functions, and his tweets related to Macedonia.