Vermont’s Only Black Female Legislator Is Stepping Down After Four Years Because Of Racism
"The last two years have been emotionally difficult for many. Political discourse, and in particular within the sphere of social media has been divisive, inflammatory and at times, even dangerous."
August 30, 2018 at 10:54 pm
Black legislators already have to manage being the minority in a sea of whiteness within the Congress, but when racism prevents them from doing their job, something has to give.
Rep. Kiah Morris' (D-Bennington) was the solitary black woman lawmaker in her state of Vermont, reports HuffPost.
Despite recently securing a spot on the November ballot, Rep. Morris has decided not to run for a third term in the state representative seat. Her decision comes after claiming she and her family received continued racist threats and harassment.
Rep. Morris posted an official announcement on her Facebook page on August 24.
"The last four years of service have been incredible; an enormous honor and significant responsibility," Morris wrote. "The last two years have been emotionally difficult for many. Political discourse, and in particular within the sphere of social media has been divisive, inflammatory and at times, even dangerous. It is my hope that as a state, we will continue to demand greater support and protections for one another from those forces which seek to divide and destroy our communities."
Morris confirmed she'll be finishing her term. Her departure means Bennington County Democrats will have to present a new candidate for the November election.
“We should be much further ahead than we are as a nation in terms of acceptance and tolerance, whether it’s sexual orientation, or gender, or race—and we aren’t,” said Republican Vermont Governor Phil Scott, per NECN. “We should be better.”
In an official press release, Vermont director of the NAACP Tabitha Pohl-Moore nixed the euphemistic language when addressing the legislator’s departure.“No other Vermont state lawmaker’s family is the target of hate-filled verbiage, such as ‘go back where you came from” or racist remarks referring to her child as an ‘ugly mongrel’—a well-known epithet used to disparage children of mixed race,” read the press release. “Let us not forget that more than a few non-native Vermonters serve in our legislature and vote similarly to Ms. Morris, yet none are being attacked or threatened racially, nor are they told to return to where they came from.”
Morris has been outspoken on social media about fighting against white supremacy.
Following the events Morris and her family have suffered, Attorney General T.J. Donovan (D-Vermont) has launched a criminal investigation.
Fellow electeds: People of color are being terrorized in this state by those who espouse white supremacist ideals and pathologies everyday. If you want to honor Heather Heyer, use your voice and your power to do something tangible in dismantling systemic racism in Vermont.— Kiah Morris (@KiahMorrisVT) August 13, 2018
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