Top State Department official resigns in protest over Trump’s treatment of Black people

A top State Department official just resigned in protest over Trump’s conduct toward black people

By Cody Fenwick
June 19, 2020 7:00AM (UTC)
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President Donald J. Trump bows his head during a prayer at a meeting with inner city pastors in the Cabinet Room of the White House on Wednesday, Aug 01, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Donald Trump)

This article originally appeared on AlterNet.

Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs Mary Elizabeth Taylor resigned from her position on Thursday, citing President Donald Trump's "comments and actions surrounding racial injustice and Black Americans" as the reason, according to a letter obtained by the Washington Post.

Taylor has been with the administration since the start of Trump's term, but she finally had enough and handed in the resignation letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

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She said Trump's actions "cut sharply against my core values and convictions," and she "must follow the dictates of my conscience and resign as Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs," according to excerpts printed by the Post.

The report noted that at age 30, Taylor was the youngest person confirmed by the Senate to her position. She was also the first black woman to hold the job, it said.

"I am deeply grateful to you, Mr. Secretary, for empowering me to lead this team and strategically advise you over these last two years," the letter continued. "You have shown grace and respect in listening to my opinions, and your remarkable leadership have made me a better leader and team member. I appreciate that you understand my strong loyalty to my personal convictions and values, particularly in light of recent events."

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Since Black Lives Matter protests broke out in response to the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, the president has made vague gestures toward opposing law enforcement misconduct and supporting the right to protest. But overall, his actions have shown disregard for the protests and the black lives they're meant to defend. He ramped up tensions as unrest grew, dangerously tweeting out the phrase "when the looting starts, the shooting starts." After giving an aggressive speech calling for a military crackdown on the protests, in which he claimed to support orderly demonstrations, federal law enforcement violently cleared peaceful activists near the White House ahead of the president's trip to a nearby church. Trump has also claimed that many of the protesters don't know what they're fighting for, that protesting players should be prevented from kneeling during the NFL's national anthem, and that monuments to the Confederacy shouldn't be removed.

The Post also noted:

On June 3, Taylor sent a message to her team of roughly 60 State Department employees, acknowledging that in the aftermath of Floyd's death that her heart "is broken, in a way from which I've had to heal it countless times."

"George Floyd's horrific murder and the recent deaths of other Black Americans have shaken our nation at its core. Every time we witness these heinous, murderous events, we are reminded that our country's wounds run deep and remain untreated," Taylor wrote in her note, also obtained by The Post. "For our team members who are hurting right now, please know you are not alone. You are seen, recognized, heard, and supported. I am right here with you."


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African-americans Black People Donald Trump Mary Elizabeth Taylor Mike Pompeo State Department