Kathy Miller, the chair of the Mahoning County branch of the Trump campaign, is very annoyed at Barack Obama, our first black president, for inventing racism.

In an interview with The Guardian, Miller explains that she never heard a DAMN THING about this "racism" stuff existing before he was president, including in the 1960s. Regarding the 1960s, she says "Growing up as a kid, there was no racism, believe me. We were just all kids going to school."

When asked about the Civil Rights Movement, which was occurring at that time, Miller stated “I never experienced it. I never saw that as anything.” Which, let's just say it, is a rather impressive feat. To go through the 1960s and somehow never hear a peep about racism existing? Was Youngstown, Ohio, perhaps, some Shangri-la type oasis from the racial tensions of that era? I feel like it was not! In fact, it took me all of two seconds to find that during the 1960s, Youngstown had segregated pools and did not allow black people to sit in the balcony in movie theaters. Though perhaps it simply did not occur to Miller that this might have appeared racist to the kids she was just "going to school" with. If it didn't bother her, why should it bother them?

Miller then explained how all this racism stuff was definitely Obama's fault.

“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.”

For what it's worth, violent crime has actually been on a steady decline since its peak in the late '80s and early '90s. The murder rate has also declined. Whoops.

The problem, as Miller sees it, is black people blaming a non-existent racism for their own failings, and suggests that they have more opportunity than white people do.

“If you’re black and you haven’t been successful in the last 50 years, it’s your own fault. You’ve had every opportunity, it was given to you,” she said.

“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.”

That last line -- the "It's not our fault" -- actually says a lot. A lot of the reason why people like Miller don't want to admit that racism exists is because they don't want to feel like they are the bad guy -- and it's more important to them to feel like they are "good" and "not to blame" than to confront and deal with racism in our society.

She also suggested that it's not part of black "culture" to vote, which The Guardian handily followed up by noting that black turnout in Ohio has actually been higher than white turnout in the last two elections.

Obama and Trump actually have something fairly important in common as far as racism is concerned. Obama being president made it safe, in a way, for black people to come out of the woodwork and say "Hey, there is some racist shit going on and it's time to address it." And it was the sort of racism, institutional and otherwise, that someone like Kathy Miller had the luxury of ignoring or not knowing anything about. Now she has to hear about it, and she's annoyed. Rather than confronting this problem, she would rather blame black people for being so impolite as to bring it up all the time.

Trump, on the other hand, has made it safe -- in a way -- for racist white people to come out of the woodwork.

Though perhaps not that safe, as Jason Miller, the Guardian reporter who spoke to Miller, reports she has apparently resigned. You know, for reasons.

[The Guardian]

Robyn Pennacchia

Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. In addition to her work at Wonkette, she also has a biweekly column at Dame. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse


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