Saying her recent Facebook comments “further legitimize the immoral ideology of white supremacy,” Pima County Supervisor Richard Elías called for Supervisor Ally Miller to apologize Monday.
“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,” Elías said in written comments, referencing this weekend’s Unite the Right summit in Charlottesville, Virginia.
On Saturday evening, several hours after an apparent white supremacist allegedly drove his vehicle into a crowd of counter protesters, killing one, Miller’s personal Facebook account posted, “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.”
“Nobody is asking you to apologize for ‘being white,’ but you owe it to our community to apologize for your remarks,” Elías said.
In a Facebook post sharing his statement, Elías was more conciliatory, writing: “We all make mistakes.”
Supervisors Sharon Bronson and Ramón Valadez told the Star they are also supportive of the call for an apology.
In a separate written statement put out Monday, Valadez said “one of our biggest responsibilities is to help our communities heal and come together. For leaders to espouse words or philosophies of division, bifurcation, separation or hatred is not leadership.”
“Our strength as Americans comes from those differences, our diversity, and the welcoming of others who may not be like us,” the statement concluded.
Miller did not respond to repeated requests for comment from the Star.
On the James T. Harris radio show on 104.1 KQTH Monday afternoon, Miller said her post was meant to criticize “the simple-minded identity politics that defines us based on nothing more than the color of our skin. And I was expressing my frustration with the identity politics. And I think the American people are rejecting those politics, and I certainly will not be ashamed for the color of my skin.”
She agreed with Harris that the reaction to her comments was an example of “gotcha politics,” and added later: “I hope everyone is proud of their race.”
“Why is that a bad thing to say? And why do they extrapolate? It’s pretty clear they extrapolated my comment into their narrative and assumed that because I say I’m proud of being white that means I hate everybody.”
Miller also condemned white supremacists and hate speech, and said it was unfair to attribute any responsibility for the violence in Charlottesville to President Donald Trump.
Her fellow Republican Supervisor Steve Christy denounced the Charlottesville violence, and the white supremacists behind it, as “deplorable and shocking,” but did not call for an apology from Miller, in a written statement Monday. Rather, he said Miller’s post “unfortunately gave her detractors the fodder they have been waiting for — an opportunity to pounce and to denounce her.”
In another written statement earlier this month, Christy sharply rebuked county communications specialist Jason Ground for urging members of a private Facebook group to attend an upcoming board meeting and criticize Miller’s position on an anti-conversion therapy ordinance. Ground followed up with an expletive directed at Miller, actions he was later disciplined for.
Christy described the posts as “deplorable, reprehensible and egregious” and called for Ground to be “subject to every facet of the county’s disciplinary process.”