Donald Trump praised Senior Advisor Stephen Miller after his awful Sunday talk show performance, but his former classmates may not share the president’s enthusiasm. Univision discovered that Miller was openly hostile to minorities (including Latinos and Asians) during high school and that he was someone who “had a lot of grudges” and didn’t show any interest in making friends, or meeting girls. As one student describes, Miller “didn’t go out of his way to go to dances or to have girlfriends. I don’t remember ever seeing him smile.”
Miller’s school, Santa Monica High, was a diverse one. Univision reports that 30 percent of the 3,400 students were Hispanic, 1 percent were African-American, and 5 percent were Asian. The school appeared to pride itself on its diverse student body and progressive ideas, but that apparently didn’t sit will with Trump’s future staffer.
Univision reported that Miller would complain about announcements being read in Spanish. He also clashed with administrators and lashed out at students who dared challenge his pro-American ideas. He’s similarly combative these days, and some students said Miller showed “intense hatred toward people of color.” Some more details:
In liberal Santa Monica, students in the city’s largest high school tended to hold progressive ideas, to be environmentally conscious and open minded.
But Miller went the other way. He quickly stood out as a contentious and provocative student whose conservative and ultra-nationalist politics put him continuously at odds with teachers, administrators and students.
Univision Noticias spoke with several classmates who said Miller had few friends, none of them non-white. They said he used to make fun of the children of Latino and Asian immigrants who did not speak English well.
Miller, who some former classmates described as being “incapable of calm dialogue,” has become known as the architect of Trump’s Muslim ban, and a peek into his past offers a clue of what was to come. It’s hardly any wonder he now works for a president who aspires to build a wall on the border with Mexico, in addition to trying to ban some Muslims from entering the country.
Miller also complained about his school’s celebration of Cinco de Mayo, the existence of a gay club and a visit by a Muslim leader.
School Board member Oscar de la Torre said he had numerous verbal clashes with Miller, and recalled that Miller turned up one day for a meeting of a committee created to help Hispanic and African American students. But Miller was not there to help, de la Torre told Univision Noticias.
“He wanted to sabotage us,” de la Torre said. “He confronted everyone, denying that racism existed. He said that was a thing of the past.”
Natalie Flores, another student who witnessed Miller’s evolution from middle to high school, said he displayed “an intense hatred toward people of color, especially toward Latinos.” She and other students interviewed for this report recalled that Miller became angry whenever he heard students speaking Spanish in the hallways.
Finally, a few of Miller’s classmates talked about how alarming it is that the seemingly hate-filled goblin they attended school with now has considerable influence on the president of the United States.
Some of Miller’s fellow high school students now say they are alarmed by the power he seems to wield. “He is very dangerous,” said Islas. “One thing is a kid who makes inappropriate comments in the high school newspaper, and another is letting him write presidential orders.”
And they say they recognize Miller’s voice when they listen to Trump speeches. Rosmarin said that re-reading Miller’s writings in high school gave him an eerie feeling. “It’s like you’re reading Trump’s words, written by a 16-year-old kid from California,” he said.
It’s not hard to imagine Miller going on the Sunday talk shows like he did this past weekend and seeing it as a big F-you to the people he grew up with back in California. And it’s also not hard to imagine how unsettled those people must have been seeing him on television speaking for the president.