UPDATE: Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016, 12:24 PM ET: Miller has resigned her post and apologized for the comments, saying she was not speaking for the campaign.
The chair of Donald Trump’s campaign in a key Ohio county said there was “no racism” before the first black President was elected and blamed black Americans for their own failures over the last 50 years in an interview with the Guardian.
In video of the exchange, published on Thursday, Trump’s campaign chair for Mahoning County, Kathy Miller, told a reporter that blacks have had all the same opportunities as their white peers.
“If you’re black and you haven’t been successful in the last 50 years, it’s your own fault,” Miller said, adding that it’s time for blacks to “take responsibility for how they live.”
Asked if Trump’s campaign has surfaced a racist undercurrent in American society, the campaign chair replied, “I don’t think there was any racism until Obama got elected. We never had problems like this.”
She continued: “Now, with the people with the guns, shooting up neighborhoods, not being responsible citizens, that’s a big change, and I think that’s the philosophy that Obama has perpetrated on America. I think that’s all his responsibility.”
Miller also told the Guardian that she “never experienced” racism or segregation while growing up in the 1960s and said about the civil rights movement: “I never saw that as anything.”
The story notes that Mahoning County, which is in eastern Ohio, has historically been a stronghold for Democrats and that 16 percent of the county’s population is black, a number higher than both the state and national average.