Racism has existed in this country since its founding, and it is still alive and well in the U.S. today. In fact, 12% of American workers stated that they’d witnessed discrimination in one form or another in their workplace, according to a 2013 National Business Ethics Survey. However, one woman disagrees, going so far as to say that racism never existed before President Barack Obama.
That woman is Kathy Miller, the (now former) chair of Donald Trump’s campaign in Mahoning County, Ohio. In a recent interview with The Guardian, Miller blamed low voter turnout among African Americans on how they were raised and stressed that they only have themselves to blame if they’ve failed to be successful over the past 50 years. Racism, she argued, is a recent phenomenon perpetuated by Obama and the Black Lives Matter movement, a movement that she called “a stupid waste of time.”
“In the last 30 years before Obama, what has happened that has been racism?” she challenged the reporter. “What has changed is we are more fragmented than we were before.”
Miller, who was in high school during the 1960s, blindly dismissed the era’s significant racial tensions, saying that“Growing up as a kid, there was no racism, believe me. We were just all kids going to school.” Of course, one has to wonder if her black classmates felt the same way.
When asked about the civil rights movement, she claimed, “I never experienced it. I never saw that as anything.” As a privileged white child, she may not have seen it as “anything” because it simply did not apply to her personally. In making statements like these, Miller blatantly disproved her own point that racism never existed. The irony should be quite obvious.
Painfully unaware of the controversial nature of her comments, Miller was later contacted by the Trump campaign and forced to resign.
“My personal comments were inappropriate, and I apologize,” she said in a statement. “I am not a spokesperson for the campaign and was not speaking on its behalf. I have resigned as the volunteer campaign chair in Mahoning County and as an elector to the Electoral College to avoid any unnecessary distractions.”
Miller explained that she did not expect her statements to affect African American voters’ support for Trump.
“I do think he will win black voters,” she said. “We all want the same thing.”