Vermont’s Black Female State Representative Resigns After Racial Harassment
Kiah Morris was the only black woman to hold a position as state representative for Vermont, but after two years of persistent harassment and threats, the councilwoman decided to step down from her post.
On Septemeber 25, Morris announced her resignation on Twitter.
Today, after great consideration, I officially announced my resignation as state representative for Bennington 2-2. Please see my full statement here: https://t.co/kYdK1db5bl
— Kiah Morris (@KiahMorrisVT) September 25, 2018
According to The Washington Post, over the course of two terms as a representative, Morris was exposed to racial tweets, swastikas painted on the trees near her property, and a home invasion.
The Roosevelt University graduate's resignation will leave Rep. Kevin Christie as the only black representative in the Vermont House. With just four people of color, Vermont's legislature is an overwhelming 94 percent white.
The 42-year-old lawmaker was exposed to racial intimidation during her 2016 re-election campaign. Coincidently, this happened around the same time Vermont witnessed an uprising of white supremacy influences in Vermont. The Bennington Democratic Party Office was littered with propaganda, and Neo-Nazi recruitment fliers were left throughout the town.
After winning the Democratic primary, Morris claims that she logged onto Twitter to find a racist picture of a black person with a disturbing message that read, “I be representin' dem white motherf**kers of Bennington,” according to The Berkshire Eagle. Max Misch was identified as the owner and creator of the racist tweet and when asked about his reasoning behind his offensive actions, Misch told the newspaper he was “demonstrating the absurdity of a black woman being a Vermont state representative” in a predominantly white district.
The abuse she was exposed to increased during this year's re-election campaign, in which her family, including her 7-year-old son, received death threats. This and the other horrendous things her family was exposed to fueled her desire to resign.
Since leaving office, Morris noticed her former constituents' reaction to her intimidation and are standing with her saying such a thing should've never happened to an elected leader.