Rep. Steve King Wonders How ‘White Supremacist’ Became ‘Offensive’

Seriously?

Steve King
Alex Wong/Getty Images

Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) opened up about the accusations of racism and white supremacy against him in a new interview with The New York Times on Thursday, inadvertently proving the point of many of his critics.

The entire Times piece is worth a read, but some of King’s quotes have garnered extra attention after the article’s publication.

“White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?” King told the Times. “Why did I sit in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and our civilization?”

King’s comments miss the obvious point that concepts of white nationalism and white supremacy have always been abhorrent and morally wrong, regardless of how acceptable they may have been in the past. But King goes further by conflating all of western civilization with the virulent ideologies he’s defending.

In a statement posted to Twitter on Thursday, King responded to the backlash by rejecting the labels of white nationalism and white supremacy. King argued that he is “simply a Nationalist.” He did not, however, contest the quotes attributed to him in the original story.

The remark is just the latest in a long line of racist and offensive statements from the Iowa congressman. In the past, he has:

  • Claimed that the majority of undocumented immigrants are drug mules with “calves the size of cantaloupes.”
  • Gave an interview to a far-right Austrian publication in which he expressed fear that Western civilization would become “subjugated by the people who are the enemies of faith, the enemies of justice.”
  • Shared a tweet from a neo-Nazi on his Twitter page.
  • Tweeted that the U.S. “can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.”
  • Kept a Confederate flag on the desk in his congressional office despite the fact that his state of Iowa was never part of the Confederacy.
  • Expressed the common white nationalist belief that “diversity is not our strength.”
  • Compared the abuse of prisoners at the infamous Abu Ghraib prison to “hazing.”

Despite the frequency with which King manages to grab headlines for his vitriol, Republican leadership in Congress has remained largely silent, save for a denouncement from Rep. Steve Stivers (R-Ohio), who helmed the House Republican campaign arm during the midterm cycle.

King never quite seems fazed by the backlash to his racist and incendiary remarks, but he might be feeling the impact soon enough. After holding his seat in a close midterm race against Democratic challenger J.D. Scholten, King will face a viable challenger on the right in his next congressional primary.

State Sen. Randy Feenstra announced his intention to primary King in the 2020 cycle on Wednesday, giving Republicans in King’s district another choice if they can’t bring themselves to vote for a Democrat.

What do you think?

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Screwtape
Member

King has a point.

We are all here because of white civilization, religion, ideals. Suck it cultural appropriators. If you want to take credit for anything, try it without the benefits of Western civilization. Stop using English, the internet, modern medicine, etc.

Phyllis Softa
Member

Since Josh posted the story, Liz Cheney then McCarthy and Scalise condemned King’s comments. Keep in mind that the RNCC pulled their support of Steve King before the 2018 election due to his comments. The voters of Iowa’s 4th district voted to return King as their representative for his 10th term. Steve King is 1 man. 50.4% of the midterm voters in the 4th district wanting Steve King as their representative, is a much bigger issue.

Phoenix
Member

Ok, I’m assuming Rep Steve King is not actually a racist, but has his terms mixed up.

White nationalist and white supremacists believe in something very specific. I honestly don’t think any of the regular posters on this site fall within these categories. These are not your normal Republicans or Democrats.

Understanding these terms is going to make things easier to address. Don’t bring them into your fold by misusing terms and giving cover. They should be left out with the trash.

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