One of Donald Trump’s campaign chairs has apologized for claiming there was “no racism” during the 1960s and said Black people only have themselves to blame for not succeeding.
Kathy Miller, who is white, served as chair of the Republican nominee’s campaign in Mahoning County, Ohio. She made the remarks during a taped interview as part of the Guardian’s “Anywhere but Washington” series of election videos.
“If you’re Black and you haven’t been successful in the last 50 years, it’s your own fault,” she said. “You’ve had every opportunity, it was given to you.”
Miller also called the Black Lives Matter movement “a stupid waste of time.”
“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, whose comments did not aid Trump in his push to garner the African-American vote, also resigned from her position. Ohio is a crucial swing state, and no Republican president has reached the White House without also winning Ohio, a state whose Black population rest at 12.7%.
“My personal comments were inappropriate and I apologize,” Miller said in a statement sent to the Columbus Dispatch. “I am not a spokesperson for the campaign and was not speaking on its behalf. I have resigned as a volunteer campaign chair in Mahoning County and as an elector to the Electoral College to avoid any unnecessary distractions.”
Trump’s latest efforts to reach the population involved a visit to a Black church in Cleveland on Wednesday, where he was captured on camera chuckling after boxing promoter Don King used the N-word.