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Elias: Miller 'must apologize' for comments on white supremacy

More by Dylan Smith

Pima County Supervisor Richard Elías issued a statement Monday about comments by Supervisor Ally Miller on Saturday, when she said " I am WHITE - and proud of it! No apologies necessary" in responding to a discussion of white supremacist attacks in Virginia.

Elías called on Miller to apologize. His statement, as released by the Democratic supervisor's office:

I am deeply saddened by one of my colleagues' response to the violent and heartbreaking events in Charlottesville. Instead of calling for unity after the deaths of three Americans, as Neo-Nazis and domestic terrorists marched on the streets of an American city, Supervisor Miller called for further division.

These comments further legitimize the immoral ideology of white supremacy that is on the rise throughout our country, from cities that that want to regulate how people go to the bathroom, to states that seek to make it legal to drive into crowds of peaceful protestors, all the way to the White House, and it must be condemned in the strongest possible terms.

This kind of sentiment is not representative of Southern Arizona's beautiful diversity, and it is not becoming of an elected official tasked with protecting the safety and wellbeing of every resident of Pima County.

Supervisor Miller, nobody is asking you to apologize for 'being white,' but you owe it to our community to apologize for your remarks. As Americans, we must stand with our all of our brothers and sisters against hatred, racism, and white supremacy. Pima County is stronger because we celebrate our multicultural heritage. Nobody should feel unsafe or unwelcome here because of who they are.

Responding to comments about President Donald Trump's initial platitudes about the neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Va., Miller said Saturday night, "I'm sick and tired of being hit for being white....It is all about making us feel like we need to apologize. I am WHITE - and proud of it! No apologies necessary."

While not naming Miller, Pima County Supervisor Sharon Bronson said Monday morning that those who do not condemn bigotry are "complicit" in it.

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"The tragedy in Charlottesville, Va., is sickening. I am disgusted by it," the Democrat wrote. "It is racism, domestic terrorism and hateful bigotry that should be condemned by all Americans and most particularly by elected officials who influence policy regardless of their political persuasion. Not to do so is to be complicit in the blind hatred of white supremacy."

Miller commented on a Facebook thread following news reports of the fatal attack Saturday, in which a Charlottesville woman was killed and more than a dozen others injured when a white supremacist allegedly drove his car into a crowd of anti-fascist protesters. That Ohio man faces a murder charge, Virginia authorities said.

Miller's comments were part of a brief Facebook thread, which included a comment from Latino activist DA Morales, who noted that Trump's response did not "directly address white supremacy."

"That is vague AF and could be used in any situation. Why not use the term 'white supremacy'" just like he boasts about using the term 'Islamic terrorism'?," Morales asked.

Rather than taking the opportunity to condemn the alleged killing of a woman by an white supremacist and express sympathy for the other victims, Miller instead seemed to take personal offense at the phrase "white supremacy."

Miller's statement followed a handful of comments, and several hours, later, after 6 p.m.

The Republican county supervisor did not respond to queries from reporters about her statement.

Monday afternoon, the other Republican on the five-member Board of Supervisors, Steve Christy, condemned the "putrid smell" of white supremacy, but accused those making an issue of Miller's comments of playing politics, and didn't address the content of her remarks.

"The violence and resulting deaths in Charlottesville, Va., this past weekend are deplorable and shocking," Christy said. "Anything resembling activity involving or utilizing the putrid smell of 'White Supremacy', 'Neo-Nazism,' and the 'KKK' should and must be condemned in the strongest of possible terms. There is no place in our American society for any kind of violent and racist behavior."

Miller's post "using her personal Facebook account to comment on a shared article unfortunately gave her detractors the fodder they have been waiting for — an opportunity to pounce and to denounce her," Christy said in an emailed statement.

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Christy did not respond to questions about his take on the substance of Miller's comments.

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2 comments on this story

Aug 15, 2017, 4:18 pm
-2 +1

what does it mean to be “proud” you are white?  this is not something you personally accomplished, you were just born that way.  if what miller means is she takes “pride” in some narrative about a european cultural heritage, this has to include the genocide against indigenous peoples in the lands europeans colonized, the exploitation of african slaves, the continuing support of despotic regimes in south and central america, etc.

Aug 14, 2017, 3:43 pm
-2 +3

You owe it to “our community” to apologize…
Now who’s the racist?  “Our Community” means Elias is telling whitey to that they are offensive.  Time to man up, put on your big boy pants and stop playing the victim card.  All whitey’s aren’t out to get non-whitey’s.  Be peaceful, respectful, and contribute to society and we’ll all get along regardless of the race baiting the MSM is trying to push on us to divide us.  YOU need to apologize to Miller for playing the victim card.

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