Mia Love made history this week as the first black female Republican to be elected to Congress. Love is also noteworthy because she is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS).
Mia Love is a conundrum to many people trying to fit her neatly into a box. She is a Haitian American Mormon Republican woman from Utah with immigrant parents. These are details she is proud of, and excited to share her story most of the time. Her importance is not lost on anyone, as a matter of fact, she is determined to make a splash and some changes.
Controversy Swirls around Mia Love
For many conservative republicans, Mia Love is considered “proof”. She is proof that racism has ended, and proof that the Republican Party isn’t all racist and sexist. Of course, their true stance isn’t quite so clear when they are constantly lessening the triumphs made by black people and women that don’t share their views. Ben Carson and Allen West, two African American Republicans, have succumbed to this same “trap”, using references of slavery and plantations when talking about Democratic blacks.
Liberals are just a confused by Mia Love. They attempted to lessen the importance of her election by calling her simply a “token”, pointing out that “she doesn’t represent the majority”. They find problems with her faith, as it once discriminated against blacks.
— Mia Love (@MiaBLove) November 12, 2014
Mia Love Aims for the CBC
Mia Love announced in 2012 that she wanted to join the Congressional Black Caucus to “try to take that thing apart from the inside out”. She described their antics as “demagoguery”, purporting racism and negativity where there weren’t any before.
With Mia Love’s entry to the Congressional Black Caucus, she brings with her religious diversity and partisan diversity. She is the only female LDS member of Congress, among a number of Episcopalians, Methodists and African Methodist Episcopalians.
Many view Mia Love’s election as a chance to expand the public image and understanding of what it means to be a black woman. As the first black female Republican elected to Congress, she has a chance that many don’t. No one can put her into a box and label her away, instead she has been given the opportunity to make real changes in the world.