Washington, DC, June 10, 2020 – In response to reports that President Trump is considering a speech to the nation on race and unity and that advisor Stephen Miller is drafting the speech, we offer the following reminders why Stephen Miller is singularly unfit to write such an address.
Even if it’s billed a speech on racial unity, we know how he thinks. A Trump/Miller speech on race will pit Black people against brown people by pointing fingers at immigrants rather than confronting structural racism. Pitting working families against each other in the service of Republican power and plutocracy has been the GOP strategy for decades, now turbocharged by Trump and Miller.
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- SPLC email trove shows Stephen Miller’s deep commitment to white nationalism and xenophobia as his animating principles: Last November, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) started publishing a trove of emails that Miller had originally sent to Breitbart’s Katie McHugh. As McHugh describes and the emails underscore, Miller is a true believer in “white supremacy and anti-immigration especially.” The emails document that while working for then-Senator Jeff Sessions, Miller continuously promoted the work of known white nationalists, citing them as justification for his policy ideas.
- Stephen Miller’s racist and nativist worldview on display well before the White House. Read the America’s Voice deep-dive profile of Stephen Miller for reminders on the depths of Miller’s commitment to racial divisiveness. For example, a 2018 profile of Miller in The Atlantic revealed that as early as middle school, he told a friend that he could no longer be friends with him because the friend was Latino. And while a student at Duke University, Miller worked with the white nationalist Richard Spencer to bring another prominent white nationalist, Peter Brimelow, to speak on campus in 2007. Spencer said he mentored Miller, but also admitted that he wanted to keep his relationship with Miller quiet.
- Stephen Miller’s white nationalist beliefs drive Trump’s relentless anti-immigrant policy agenda. Read this recent America’s Voice report on the relationship between Miller’s white nationalist worldview and Trump administration anti-immigrant policies – including such flashpoints as the decision to end DACA, the forced separation of immigrant families and the ban on Muslims entering the country touted by Trump.
- Because of Trump and Miller, xenophobic policy and politics “are no longer distinguishable.” Trump and his administration and campaign are running for reelection on xenophobia – as Jonathan Blitzer phrased it in his recent New Yorker profile of Stephen Miller, the “obsession with restricting immigration and punishing immigrants has become the defining characteristic of the Trump White House, to the extent that campaigning and governing on the issue are no longer distinguishable.”
It is striking that Miller is the lone survivor in a White House that has chewed up and spit out staff in a nearly constant churn since Trump’s first days in office. The reason is that Trump sees in Miller a loyalist who gets his deeply rooted racism, xenophobia and opposition to America’s multi-ethnic future and is committed enough to put Trump’s vision of a whiter America into practice. And Miller sees in Trump a relentless advocate for a whiter America where police, policy and politics converge in keeping people of color out and/or keeping people down. The two have united in their drive to crush American unity by driving division wherever and whenever they can, especially along racial lines. While Miller is uniquely suited to pen a speech embodying Trump’s nationalism and white supremacy, the notion of Miller or Trump promoting racial harmony or national unity is so farcical, it’s tragic.
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