One of the most senior black Americans in the state department has resigned to protest Donald Trump’s response to the recent riots over the death of George Floyd.
Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs Mary Elizabeth Taylor gave her resignation to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo saying her action was a matter of conscience.
“Moments of upheaval can change you, shift the trajectory of your life, and mold your character,” Taylor wrote to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a letter obtained by the Post. “The President’s comments and actions surrounding racial injustice and Black Americans cut sharply against my core values and convictions. I must follow the dictates of my conscience and resign as Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs.”
Taylor was the youngest assistant secretary for legislative affairs in history. She previously worked for the White House as deputy director for nominations, and on Mitch McConnell’s Senate staff.
She was seen as a loyal, reliable Trump aide.
In her resignation letter, Taylor expressed her gratitude to Pompeo.
“You have shown grace and respect in listening to my opinions, and your remarkable leadership have made me a better leader and team member,” she reportedly wrote. “I appreciate that you understand my strong loyalty to my personal convictions and values, particularly in light of recent events.”
The pressure on Ms. Taylor to resign must have been enormous. You have to think that friends and family were advising her to cut loose from Trump before she went down with him. Outside forces may also have been pressuring her, as the black community in America has become even more monolithic in its beliefs as a result of the demonstrations and riots.
Were there threats made against her? No one would be surprised if there were.
Blacks in the administration have kept a low profile from the beginning given the rabid opposition to anyone who dares work for the president. It’s like six degrees of separation as even the families and friends of aides have been targeted by the mob.
I’m sure Taylor heard the taunts of “race traitor” and “Aunt Jane” from those seeking to destroy any black American who disagrees with their political views. It had to have been difficult to work under those circumstances.
That Taylor chose a rather public way to show her disagreement is unfortunate but probably unavoidable given her position as assistant secretary and the temperature of the times. It’s troubling that this myopic view of the “protests” held by Taylor and most blacks should obscure the whole truth of what was going.