The only thing more depressing than Donald Trump and his hateful, conscience-averse campaign of terror are the Trump surrogates who have felt empowered and emboldened by their Dear Leader's benighted and bigoted declarations. One such person, the chair of the Republican nominee’s campaign in Ohio's Mahoning County, spoke to the Guardian yesterday, ostensibly about the state of the campaign and shifts in voter demographics. But instead, it turned into an opportunity for her to rail against black people, call Black Lives Matter "a stupid waste of time," and claim that there was "no racism" before President Obama.
— Michael Calderone (@mlcalderone) September 22, 2016
Up until this afternoon, real estate broker Kathy Miller served as the Republican campaign chair of Mahoning county, a historically Democratic county—up until this election. Before the primaries, around 6,000 Democrats switched party affiliations, ostensibly to vote for Trump. The Guardian calls it "ground-zero for disaffected white, working-class Democrats who are drawn to Trump's promise to boost manufacturing by renegotiating international free-trade agreements." So naturally, it would be interesting to learn why this shift has been occurring.
Instead, they got a prominent Trump surrogate unabashedly and unashamedly exposing her own ignorance: "If you're black and you haven't been successful in the last 50 years, it's your own fault," Miller said. "You've had every opportunity, it was given to you. You've had the same schools everybody else went to. You had benefits to go to college that white kids didn't have. You had all the advantages and didn't take advantage of it. It's not our fault, certainly."
Miller dismissed African-American voters in the area, despite the fact that they constitute 16% of Mahoning county’s population, and voter turnout in Ohio was higher among black people than white people in the last two presidential elections. She instead suggested that there was low turnout among black people because, "I don’t think that’s part of the way they’re raised. For us, I mean, that was something we all did in our families, we all voted."
Then there were her comments on racial tension as she was growing up in the 1960s: “Growing up as a kid, there was no racism, believe me. We were just all kids going to school...I don’t think there was any racism until Obama got elected. We never had problems like this ... Now, with the people with the guns, and shooting up neighborhoods, and not being responsible citizens, that’s a big change, and I think that’s the philosophy that Obama has perpetuated on America."
the only place this quote makes sense pic.twitter.com/PgOEIfzUPX
— Jason O. Gilbert (@gilbertjasono) September 22, 2016
And then we have this:
Miller dismissed the suggestion that Trump was exploiting racist or prejudiced views among some voters as “the media making stuff up”. Instead, she said of the Republican nominee: “He’s very willing to talk about issues that have never been discussed publicly.”
When it was pointed out that some people might find her remarks offensive, Miller replied: “I don’t care, it’s the truth.”
Appreciate my eyebrows being turned into a Gif, but the story here really is about what this election is doing to race relations in America. https://t.co/SX1jFqeJFC
— Paul Lewis (@PaulLewis) September 22, 2016
After the interview blew up today, Miller offered her resignation. She may not have been an official Trump spokesperson, as the Ohio campaign noted in a statement, but she spoke volumes: "Our county chairs are volunteers who signed up to help organize grassroots outreach like door-knocking and phone calls, they are not spokespeople for the campaign. I have accepted Kathy Miller's resignation as the Mahoning County chair in light of these inappropriate comments."