Black Female Lawmaker Withdraws Re-Election Bid After Racist Threats
A Democratic Representative from Vermont named Kiah Morris recently revealed that she would not be seeking a third term in the Vermont House of Representatives due to a barrage of racist threats sent towards her and her family.
“Political discourse, and in particular within the sphere of social media has been divisive, inflammatory and at times, even dangerous,” Morris wrote on Facebook. She’ll be serving out the rest of her term, but will not work for re-election in November. Attorney General T.J. Donovan (D) reportedly opened a criminal investigation into the threats.
Morris’ decision was called a loss by some of her colleagues. According to NECN, she worked to improve issues plaguing women and minority communities. Mark Hughes of the group Justice For All told the site that Vermont has dealt with a history of systemic racism for some time.
“From housing to education, to employment, to health services access, to economic development, and indeed, the criminal justice system, there are disparities dealt to all the 10,000 or so people of color across the state on a daily basis,” he said.
“We get racist messages all the time, and if we don’t actually think about them—if we don’t actually engage with them—we just accidentally perpetuate them,” said Rep. Diana Gonzalez, who worked closely with Morris.