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More from Politics
- In 2002 Miller gave a campaign speech for a position on school government
- e asked why he had to pick up litter when janitors are paid to do that in school
- A student said that was a racist remark against the all-black and Latino janitors
- Other ex-students have said he would tell Latino schoolmates to 'speak English'
- And one childhood friend said Miller suddenly spurned him because he is Latino
- But a friend of Miller's said he's just a joker who likes to get a rise out of people
Video has emerged of Stephen Miller, Donald Trump's 31-year-old policy aide, being booed off stage at his California high school for offending students with 'classist and racist' remarks.
Miller, who has represented Trump on TV and acted as his 'warm-up man' during rallies, is seen being ushered off-stage in 2002 after upsetting the Santa Monica High crowd with his speech for school government.
'Am I the only one who is sick and tired of being told to pick up our trash when we have plenty of janitors who are paid to do it for us?' he asked in the video obtained by Univision.
That remark looks innocuous, but some ex-students believe it was a racist jab at the school's all-black or Latino janitorial staff - and others say it wasn't the first time he'd made prejudiced comments about Latinos.
Booed: Trump aide Stephen Miller is seen here in 2002, giving a speech to his high school. He was booed off stage by other students, who said his remarks about janitors were racist
Aide: Miller, (pictured this week, aged 31), is now a top aide to Trump. Some classmates said he made racist comments to Latinos, but a pal said he was just a joker who liked to get a reaction
(Video via The Washington Post)
Miller's speech began 'I’m the only candidate up here who stands out. I would say and I would do things that no one else in their right mind would say or do.'
Natalie Flores, a former student at the ultra-liberal school, had no doubt that Miller's remarks were intended as coded racism because the janitors were all black or Latino.
'It was a racist remark because we all knew that our janitors were people of color,' she said.
But Justin Brownstone, who was the student president at that time, believes that Miller was mostly just out to get a reaction.
'He enjoyed saying things that were perceived as racist,' he said. 'The more he offended, the happier he was.'
The video, made months after the speech, intercuts snippets of Miller's remarks on stage with talking heads from other students at the school.
Escorted: Miller (center) was escorted off the stage after he asked why he should pick up trash and not janitors. Some students said that was racist as the janitors were all black or Latino
One of those talking heads is Christopher Moritz, one of Miller's few high school pals.
He agrees that Miller wanted a reaction, and says there was no real racist intent behind the speech.
'That speech ... as I remember, it's really written more as a satire,' he told Univision. 'I think most people understood that.
'No-one took it seriously ... it was a joke, kind of a senior prank sort of thing.'
He added that Miller had a diverse crowd of friends at Santa Monica High, including a black conservative radio host.
Signing off: Miller left school with this quote about be '100 percent Americanism.' One man said Miller killed their years of friendship at 14 because he was a Latino
Others, however, told Univision they recalled Miller making multiple racially-charged remarks about and to non-white students.
'I think his big problem was the Latinos,' Flores told Univision last week. 'He thought they lived off welfare.'
Moises Castillo said that he heard Miller tell members of MEChA, a group that promotes Mexican-American identity: 'This is the United States. Speak English.'
Another Latino ex-student who did not wish to be named said Miller shouted at him to 'Go back to your country' and 'speak English.'
And Charles Gould, who claims to be a former schoolmate of Miller's, describes him as 'hands down the most un-liked person on campus' and 'an unabashed racist' in a tweet on Sunday.
'No I'm not being over sensitive and I'm not using the "r" word where it doesn't apply,' he wrote.
'In private conversations he was constantly making disparaging remarks about the African-America, Latino and Asian students at our school.'
Last week, Jason Islas, who had made friends with Miller when he was young, came forward to claim that Miller had rejected him before attending high school because of his ethnicity.
Islas told Univision that the 14-year-old Miller outright said: 'I can't be your friend any more because you are Latino.'
Islas said he was puzzled by Miller's apparently sudden adoption of right-wing views, as he had been invited to Miller's Bar Mitzvah and that Miller had a stable family life.
While at Duke University, Miller wrote a series of columns for campus paper The Chronicle in which he ranted about pet peeves. Here are excerpts.
On closing the pay gap 'It would mean [women] trading in jobs like housekeeping for night shifts doing road repairs; it would mean giving up the joy of being home during your child's first years of life.' ('Sorry Feminists,' November 22, 2005)
On 9/11's fifth anniversary 'We oppose common-sense security measures. We give driver's licenses to illegal aliens. Meanwhile our enemy yearns to attack with all the force of Sept. 11 multiplied a hundred times. What will it take for us to understand?' ('9.11.01,' September 11, 2006)
On multiculuralism 'Inside our borders, the nation of E Pluribus Unum threatens to be fractured across ethnic lines by racial animus and divisive multiculturalism. We suffer from sagging patriotism, growing malaise and a loss of faith in the noble history and principles that have made us great.' ('Farewell', April 23, 2007)
If Miller was just looking to ruffle feathers, he found a more consistent outlet in writing than in speeches.
In 2002, the same year he gave his controversial speech to the school, Miller wrote to local magazine The Lookout, arguing that bilingual signs were a 'crutch' for Spanish-speaking students.
'When I entered Santa Monica High School in ninth grade, I noticed a number of students lacked basic English skills,' he wrote.
'There are usually very few, if any, Hispanic students in my honors classes, despite the large number of Hispanic students that attend our school.'
He continued to write when he went to Duke University in North Carolina, where he produced regular columns in which he bemoaned feminism, multiculturalism and liberal politics.
Miller also defended Bill Bennett after the former Education Secretary said America could reduce crime rates by aborting 'every black baby in this country.'
'The real problems facing the black community are not - gasp - conservative commentators but the fact that, as some studies have shown, about 194,300 black men between the ages of 20 and 29 are sentenced federal or state prisoners,' he wrote in an October 26, 2005 article called 'Tricky Extrapolations'.
He also claimed that 'two-thirds of black children are born out of wedlock; and 12 percent of black students in the eighth grade are at or above a proficient reading level.'
'I'm sure to be called a racist just for shedding light on these troubling issues,' he concluded.
When Miller left Santa Monica, he signed off with a yearbook quote from Theodore Roosevelt: 'There can be no 50-50 Americanism in this country. There is room here for only 100 percent Americanism, only for those who are Americans and nothing else.'