The Illinois Democratic County Chairs Association has rented space on a billboard outside of Effingham with a photo of U.S. Representative Mary Miller and a quote from a speech she gave in Jan. in which she said, “Hitler was right on one thing. He said ‘whoever has the youth has the future.”
Miller received criticism from across the country following her statements with many calling for her resignation, including the ILDCCA and the Coles County Democrats.
ILDCCA President Kristina Zahorik offered the following statement about the billboard.
“Words matter, particularly from those who hold elected office. And when Mary Miller tried to excuse her comments about Adolf Hitler by accusing others of attempting to ‘twist her words’ the IDCCA knew she needed to be held accountable for her finger-pointing defense,” Zahorik said. “The residents of Mary Miller’s Congressional district need to know that Mary Miller thinks it is acceptable to cite Adolf Hitler to make a political point. The IDCCA hopes the voters remember her inexcusable comments, and hold her accountable as a public official and eventually at the ballot box.”
Miller made the remarks during a speech for Moms for America on Jan. 5.
Miller’s comments led to several people around the United States to denounce her and call for her resignation.
University President David Glassman, on behalf of Eastern, said that the university did not back Eastern alumna Miller’s comments in an email a few days following the speech:
“Yesterday’s events in our nation’s capital were deplorable and inexcusable. Our ability as Americans to achieve a brighter future together demands we respect our democracy and the democratic traditions and ideals of our nation. Those are the values on which Eastern Illinois University stands, and which will continue to guide our mission.
“Further, and in clear support of those values, EIU denounces the words of recently elected regional representative Mary Miller and further condemns any reference to Hitler or his methodologies as a paradigm for American progress.”
The University Professionals of Illinois at Eastern raised $1,372.13 to donate to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and asked Miller to match the donation.
The UPI said they condemn her speech and the contribution it could have had to the violence during the insurrection on Jan. 6.
The union said they felt Miller’s apology following the speech was sincere.
In a press release from the group, they said, “As educators, we believe in the power of growth within any human being. The core of education is to learn from mistakes so we can start on a better path. But written and spoken apologies alone are not sufficient. There must be concrete actions of reparation for the harm we do in our lives.”
Miller offered the following statement as her apology:
“Earlier this week, I spoke to a group of mothers about the importance of faith and guarding our youth from destructive influences. I sincerely apologize for any harm my words caused and regret using a reference to one of the most evil dictators in history to illustrate the dangers that outside influences can have on our youth. This dark history should never be repeated, and parents should be proactive to instill what is good, true, right, and noble into their children’s hearts and minds. While some are trying to intentionally twist my words to mean something antithetical to my beliefs, let me be clear: I’m passionately pro-Israel and I will always be a strong advocate and ally of the Jewish community. I’ve been in discussion with Jewish leaders across the country and am grateful to them for their kindness and forthrightness.”
Miller’s office did not respond to a request for comment.
Corryn Brock can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]