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Noted Racist Steve King: ‘It’s Not About Race’

The Republican congressman from Iowa doesn’t understand why people are offended by white supremacy

FILE -- Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) speaks at a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Dec. 11, 2018. The Iowa congressman, who has used racist language and been denounced as a white supremacist, wrote the playbook on white identity politics and many of the issues that are ascendant in the Republican Party. (Sarah Silbiger/The New York Times)

Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) speaks at a hearing on Capitol Hill.

Sarah Silbiger/The New York Times/Redux

While the mainstream media continues to pretend that President Trump’s white supremacy is debatable, the same can’t be said for Rep. Steve King (R-IA), the most racist man in Congress for almost 20 years. On Thursday, the New York Times published a story fleshing out King’s anti-immigrant history, which includes a long-held belief that a wall should be constructed on America’s southern border. King also believes that whiteness is intrinsic to American culture, and that non-white immigrants represent an assault to the nation’s values. He doesn’t understand why this is a controversial view. “White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?” he asked the Times. “Why did I sit in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and our civilization?”

King tried to walk back the comments later on Thursday. “Today, the New York Times is suggesting that I am an advocate for white nationalism and white supremacy,” he wrote. “I want to make one thing abundantly clear; I reject those labels and the evil ideology that they define.” He went on to write that he is “simply a Nationalist” and that “it’s not about race.”

King’s response doesn’t square with the comments he made to the Times, nor with any of the countless racist statements he’s made in the past. Curbing immigration has always been a core issue for King — in addition to advocating for a wall he used to keep a Confederate flag on his desk, despite representing a northern state — but his zeal seems to have intensified since Trump entered politics.

“I’d ask you to go back through history and figure out where are these contributions that have been made by these other categories of people that you are talking about?” he said prior to the 2016 election. “Where did any other subgroup of people contribute more to civilization?”

“We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies,” he tweeted in 2017 in support of a Dutch white nationalist Geert Wilders.

Prior to his re-election campaign in 2018, King endorsed a Canadian politician with neo-Nazi ties, retweeted white supremacists on multiple occasions and spent time in Austria meeting with a far-right group with ties to Nazism during the run-up to the election. He lost the support of some of his corporate donors, but not the GOP leadership or the president, and went on to secure his ninth term in office, albeit by a smaller margin than he typically wins the deep-red district.

He might have an even tougher time winning in 2020. On Wednesday, Iowa state senator Randy Feenstra announced that he will challenge King in the 2020 Republican primary. “Today, Iowa’s 4th District doesn’t have a voice in Washington, because our current representative’s caustic nature has left us without a seat at the table,” Feenstra said in a statement. “We don’t need any more sideshows or distractions, we need to start winning for Iowa’s families.”

Some conservatives are already on board.

“Today, misguided political opportunism, fueled by establishment puppeteers, has revealed that Mr. Feenstra is easily swayed by the lies of the left,” King said in a statement responding to Feenstra’s announcement, adding that his potential challenger (King has yet to say whether he will seek re-election in 2020) “offers Republican voters nothing but warmed over talking points from liberal blogs and failed Democratic candidates.”

Feenstra did not respond to a request for comment regarding King’s comments in the Times Thursday morning.

In This Article: Racism

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