County supervisors react to Ally Miller comment on social media - Tucson News Now

County supervisors react to Ally Miller comment on social media

Ally Miller Ally Miller
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

The members of the Pima County Board of Supervisors reacted on Monday, Aug. 14, to a controversial social media comment apparently by one of their own in the wake of race-fueled violence in Virginia.

32-year-old Heather Heyer died when she was struck by a car that plowed into a crowd of people protesting the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville on Saturday, Aug. 12. Nineteen others were injured. James Alex Fields Jr., 20, of Ohio, was arrested shortly after and charged with second-degree murder.

That same day, Pima County Supervisor Ally Miller (District 1) took to social media and proclaimed that she's "white and proud of it." The comment was in response to President Trump's comments on Saturday in reaction to the tragedy and appeared to come from her personal Facebook account.

Attempts by Tucson News Now to reach Miller have gone unanswered.

Most of her fellow supervisors, however, released the following statements on Monday in reaction to the online comment:

Ramon Valadez, District 2

"As leaders, 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.

"America is ONE team! Regardless of the color of your skin, beliefs, orientation, ideology or any other difference, we are all Americans. That is not to say that we do not have differences, it is to say that our strength as Americans comes from those differences and our diversity and the welcoming of others who may not be like us."

Steve Christy, District 4

"The violence and resulting deaths in Charlottesville, Virginia this past weekend are deplorable and shocking. 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.

"Supervisor Ally 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.

"All Americans must join together as one and reject violence as a tool in the arena of public discourse."

Richard Elias, District 5

"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 well being 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.”

Board Chair Sharon Bronson, while not issuing a written statement, spoke on camera about the need to speak out against hate.

"I think as elected officials and policy makers, we have an obligation to our voters, to our residents in this community to stand up and do what is right by them," she said.

She also believes Miller should apologize.

"I think it would be appropriate," Bronson said. "I think she needs to apologize to this community."

Because of the timing of the response, on the day of the white supremacist and Neo-Nazi demonstration in Charlottesville, she feels it was inappropriate and insensitive.

"She needs to give some context to that statement," she said.

Elias agrees.

"I think it's important that we hear something, that we get this straight," he said. "I think it would help us come together as a community in a stronger way."

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