Amid the videos of violence committed against black bodies this past week, was one of a Trump official stating that she didn’t “think there was any racism until Obama got elected.” The video of Kathy Miller, who is white and chair of Trump’s campaign in Mahoning County, went viral and resulted in her resigning from her post.
But her resignation only means she won’t be associated with the “isms” emanating from the Trump camp.
It doesn’t mean she has suddenly changed her mind about why some black Americans have not thrived.
It doesn’t mean she no longer believes blacks have “had benefits to go to college that white kids didn’t have.”
It doesn’t mean she’s realized black voter turnout percentage exceeded all other groups in the last two presidential elections.
It just means she won’t have a public platform to state beliefs shared with a number of white Americans who are increasingly vocal about their racism.
She is a product of the systemic racism taught in our public schools and reinforced through racist institutions, most notably our criminal justice system. She has bought into American’s collective self-image, the core of which “is the assumption that mobility is always possible, so failure to move up reflects on one’s character. By extension, the failure of a race or ethnic group to move up reflects very poorly on the group as a whole.” ~ Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow
She will hold onto her beliefs because in a country that continues to attract freedom-loving people from all over the world, it’s easier to believe that everyone is free to achieve the American Dream.
The easy thing is to reject new information and realities. The hard thing is to accept what is difficult to know and be transformed through a deeper understanding of the truth.
Renita Alexander, Leadership Unlocked