Miller shouts at other officials in meetings about crimes committed by immigrants. Miller’s views and actions on immigration are so odious that his own uncle penned an op-ed condemning him for them, noting that under the policies Miller has pushed, their family would never have been allowed to come to America.
Miller has a long history as a right-wing provocateur and opponent of immigration. In high school, he wrote an article asking why there were “usually very few, if any, Hispanic students in my honors classes, despite the large number of Hispanic students that attend our school."
Given all this, it wasn’t much of a surprise when the Southern Poverty Law Center published an article Tuesday based on emails it obtained from the right-wing website Breitbart, in which Miller “promoted white nationalist literature, pushed racist immigration stories and obsessed over the loss of Confederate symbols after Dylann Roof’s murderous rampage.”
Miller, at the time an aide to then-Sen. Jeff Sessions, had regular correspondence with people at Breitbart, pointing them to articles on white nationalist websites including VDARE and American Renaissance, recommending the racist novel “The Camp of the Saints” and urging them to publish inflammatory stories about immigration.
How has the White House responded? Officials there claim not to have read the SPLC’s report, but one official did tell a reporter from Axios, “This is clearly a form of anti-Semitism to levy these attacks against a Jewish staffer.”
I’m sure that at some point, someone made a more repugnant attempt to use an accusation of anti-Semitism to shield someone from accountability for their own bigotry. I just can’t recall any.
One person who knows something about phony accusations of anti-Semitism is Rep. Ilhan Omar, who can claim some measure of vindication. Back in April she tweeted that “Stephen Miller is a white nationalist,” and the result was an absolute tornado of condemnation, much of which accused Omar of being anti-Semitic for even suggesting such a thing.
“It is completely ignorant to slander a Jewish man as a White Nationalist, and it dishonors the Jewish victims of anti-Semitic persecution across the globe,” said a White House spokesperson.
As of yet, I have not come across any conservatives, let alone the White House, offering Omar an apology for what they said about her completely accurate statement about Miller.
Just as there’s no point in arguing anymore about whether Trump is really a racist, there’s not much point in arguing about whether Miller is really a white nationalist. He has devoted his professional life to keeping the United States as white as possible, and although the White House might throw some insults at the SPLC, the administration isn’t trying to argue that the emails the organization was given aren’t genuine. Or that Miller has evolved since 2016.
No, the only thing that distinguishes the 2016 version of Stephen Miller, the one emailing a far-right website to tell it to get material from ultra-right, racist websites, from the 2019 version of Stephen Miller is that today’s Miller has a lot more power. He’s not just searching the rancid corners of the Web and popping off emails, he’s making immigration policy for the United States. He’s shutting out asylum seekers, slamming the door on refugees, separating children from their parents.
In other words, he has been just what Trump was hoping for back when he was hired. In a different administration, the revelation of these emails might get a person fired. In this administration, it might get him a promotion.