Racism Allegations Compel Vermont Lawmaker to Resign

Posted on February 13, 2019 by

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Vermont’s only black female lawmaker has resigned.

Kiah Morris decided to step down from her position after she had received harassment from a white nationalist. The man will not be pressed with any charges because, by law, his comments are covered by the First Amendment.

Kiah’s harasser was covered by the First Amendment, which states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Morris was heckled by Max Misch for two years. He sent Morris comments including,“Kiah Morris hard at work destroying white Vermont” and “Go back to Africa, it’s the only place you’ll ever be safe.”

During Morris’s resignation, state Attorney General Donovan held a news conference in Bennington in which he stated that Misch will not be punished. He then emphasized the fact that the only female black representative was targeted.

“For people in positions of power in Vermont who are white, mostly male, and mostly from a Christian background, we have to acknowledge that the lived experience of people of color and other backgrounds and heritages are different.  We must listen to their lived experience,” Donovan said.

During the conference, Morris backed away at the site of a white nationalist man wearing an alt-right meme t-shirt lurking in the back. It was Max Misch. Crowd members began to say that he shouldn’t be there.

Misch states that he never harassed Morris and that he was only joking–that he enjoys to troll. The audience was not having this. The majority seemed to believe that what he said and should not be considered a joke.

“Something like this should not be able to be taken as a joke; racism is not something that can be tossed around,” FAHS junior Stephanie Hegedus said.

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Posted in: Jessica Carlin