News & Politics

Stephen Miller Once Dumped a Childhood Friend Because He Was Latino

Hostility toward people of color has been a lifelong passion for the presidential adviser.

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Aside from being downright atrocious for citing a hate group founded by a noted eugenicist, the ghoulish Stephen Miller’s rant in defense of Donald Trump’s neo-Nazi-approved “legal” immigration bill was chock-full of anti-immigrant propaganda that has no basis in reality. Not only do a majority of Americans see immigration as beneficial to our nation, but research has found that “even ‘unskilled’ immigrants serve to increase the supply of skilled labor through their work.” So why the verbal vomit from Miller? For him, hostility towards people of color—particularly Latinos and Latino immigrants—has been a life-long personal campaign. Univision earlier this year:

Univision Noticias spoke with several classmates who said Miller had few friends, none of them non-white. They said he used to make fun of the children of Latino and Asian immigrants who did not speak English well.

Early on, Miller began to write opinion columns in conservative blogs, the local press and the high school's own newspaper, The Samohi. He also contributed at times to the national radio show of Larry Elder, a conservative African American, and once invited him to speak at the school.

Displaying his hostility toward minorities, Miller complained to school administrators about announcements in Spanish and festivals that celebrated diversity.

One of these students, Jason Islas, told Univision that he and Miller were childhood friends, until Miller stopped talking to him shortly before the two were to enter high school. “Miller only returned Islas' phone calls at the end of the summer, to coldly explain the reason for his estrangement. ‘I can't be your friend any more because you are Latino,’ Islas remembers him saying.”

Even Miller’s criticism of non-English-speaking immigrants has roots to his early life:

In his third year at the school, the 16-year-old Miller wrote a letter to The Lookout, a local publication, about his negative impression of Hispanic students and the use of Spanish in the United States.

“When I entered Santa Monica High School in ninth grade, I noticed a number of students lacked basic English skills. There are usually very few, if any, Hispanic students in my honors classes, despite the large number of Hispanic students that attend our school,” Miller wrote.

“Even so, pursuant to district policy, all announcements are written in both Spanish and English. By providing a crutch now, we are preventing Spanish speakers from standing on their own,” he added. “As politically correct as this may be, it demeans the immigrant population as incompetent, and makes a mockery of the American ideal of personal accomplishment."

In that article, Miller also complained about his school's celebration of Cinco de Mayo, the existence of a gay club and a visit by a Muslim leader.

In college, Miller was buddies with neo-Nazi Richard Spencer, a claim that Miller now denies after rising to the ranks of a presidential advisor:

Spencer and Miller first came to know each other in the late 2000s as students at Duke University, where they both belonged to the Duke Conservative Union. Miller earned notice for standing up for white lacrosse players falsely accused in 2006 of gang raping a black woman. Spencer also defended the Duke lacrosse players, writing about the case for Pat Buchanan’s American Conservative, which later hired him as an editor.

Spencer told me that at Duke, Miller helped him with fundraising and promotion for an on-campus debate on immigration policy that Spencer organized in 2007, featuring influential white nationalist Peter Brimelow. Another former member of the Duke Conservative Union confirms that Miller and Spencer worked together on the event. At DCU meetings, according to a past president of the group, Miller denounced multiculturalism and expressed concerns that immigrants from non-European countries were not assimilating.

Miller eventually became an aide to the Senate’s then-leading anti-immigrant voice, Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, before becoming a presidential advisor, leaving his fingerprints on hateful executive orders and memos—like Donald Trump’s Muslim bans—and creeping us all out during his televised appearances.

“Many commentators wondered what newly installed White House Chief of Staff John Kelly might think about Miller’s performance,” asked immigrant rights group America’s Voice. “In a sane world, he’d be very concerned. But remember: this is the Trump White House, and Kelly has been implementing anti-immigrant policies crafted by Miller for the last six months.”

And, remember that administrations are also defined by who’s kept on and who’s kicked out. Bumbling fools like Sean Spicer and Reince Priebus are gone. Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller stay on to hate another day.

 

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