Rep. Steve King doesn’t get why ‘white supremacist’ is an offensive term


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For more than a decade, Iowa congressman Steve King was seen as little more than a local wingnut, too extreme, too nativist, too racist for mainstream political discourse. He kept winning re-election somehow, but he was largely shunned by most Republican power brokers and elites. Then Donald Trump happened, and Trump is basically Steve King with a outer-borough New York accent. Trump adopted all of King’s rhetoric about immigration, border walls and race in general. That’s why the New York Times interviewed Rep. King this week, as we are in midst of a government shutdown which seems to largely be about Trump’s racism and his need for a metaphoric wall. This is the part of the King interview getting the attention:

Mr. King, in the interview, said he was not a racist. He pointed to his Twitter timeline showing him greeting Iowans of all races and religions in his Washington office. (The same office once displayed a Confederate flag on his desk.)

At the same time, he said, he supports immigrants who enter the country legally and fully assimilate because what matters more than race is “the culture of America” based on values brought to the United States by whites from Europe.

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

[From The New York Times]

Steve King said the quiet part out loud, to a national publication. Even though he meant every word and sentiment, he had to do the public dance of correcting himself, saying:

“Today, the New York Times is suggesting I am an advocate for white nationalism and white supremacy. I want to make one thing abundantly clear; I reject those labels and the evil ideology that they define.Further, I condemn anyone that supports this evil and bigoted ideology which saw in its ultimate expression the systematic murder of 6 million innocent Jewish lives.”

He goes on to say that he is not an advocate for “white nationalism and white supremacy. I want to make one thing abundantly clear: I reject those labels and the evil ideology they define.” Which is horsesh-t, because his New York Times interview was part of a familiar pattern, all part of the dance these white men do with their neo-Nazi supporters. They give an interview like this, showing their clear allegiance to white supremacists, then they issue a carefully worded half-denial. It’s all to throw red meat at their Nazi supporters. And make no f–king mistake, Steve King really doesn’t see what’s wrong with white supremacy. Donald Trump is the same. Stephen Miller is the same. Steve Bannon is the same. Mike Pence is the same. Ivanka Trump is the same.

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44 Responses to “Rep. Steve King doesn’t get why ‘white supremacist’ is an offensive term”

  1. Honeybadger says:

    Please, please, please don’t think all Iowans are like this. Progressive Democrats represent the other three districts.

  2. Bryn says:

    This guy is he worst, I don’t understand how someone gets away with saying that sh*t and is still in a position to make decisions that effect so many people. This racist attitude is starting to become the norm for a lot of people, I’m seeing it more the last few years here in Canada too. I scrolled through my Facebook this morning and saw posts from two separate family friends who I’ve known and respected for many years, sharing false “facts” about immigration and crime. It’s downright sickening and it’s always the loudest people who are sharing and saying these awful things

    • Esmom says:

      I know, right? I honestly think I don’t want to live on the planet anymore. Too many awful, awful people.

      • Bryn says:

        It’s really been a mind blowing few years hasn’t it? And I will be Debbie downer here for a second. I feel like this is not going to change anytime soon. It seems this has become to new standard, to yell and throw tantrums and be and shove the environment aside because of money or whatever. I literally chose to not to have any more children because I’m so worried about the future and what kind of world our kids will be left. I have a six year old daughter and her father and I are constantly telling her about the things we think are important for her future, like respecting people of all kinds, colours, creeds, respecting the earth, the animals. And than she comes home from school saying her teacher told them that only boys and girls can get married, I live in Canada, gay marriage has been legal for so long. And she sees people on the news yelling at our prime minster because he’s trying to make rules to help the environment and reduce pollution, trying to help women be equal and immigrants. It’s like a constant battle.

      • Debby says:

        More and more I feel like the film Idiocracy was prophetic. The only difference is in reality the dumbing down of humanity is going hand-in-hand with racism and bigotry.

      • Esmom says:

        Bryn and Debby, Yes to both of your comments. I don’t see it getting better anytime soon, either.

      • Nikki says:

        Bryn, I hope you called the teacher on that statement: unbelievable!

    • Megan says:

      The racism was always here. Politicians like Steve King have been using racist dog whistles since the very first elections. Trump has empowered them to drop the dog whistles and speak plainly, but they are no more racist than they always were. As disheartening as it is to listen to racism, I would rather have it out in the open so I know who can no longer be in my life, where I will no longer be shopping, and what politicians I will actively be campaigning against.

  3. Steff says:

    I’m so done with conservatives trying to justify horrific racist sh*t like this.

  4. Rapunzel says:

    Dear Steve King,
    If you truly rejected white supremacist ideology, you would understand why people were offended.

  5. Bettyrose says:

    The viewpoints are offensive. The terms are just labels to identify those who hold the viewpoints, which is helpful. If you hold these viewpoints, please let us know by referring to yourself as a white supremacist. Big time saver. Thanks.

  6. RBC says:

    People like this are revolting, but on the other hand I am glad he is expressing his disgusting views to the world. Then people will know who not to vote for in the next election and challenge their views.
    It is the ones who make “dog whistle” statements to their racist base under the cover of “security or jobs” or ones like Stephen Miller who have a lot of influence behind the scenes that are the dangerous ones.

    • Dara says:

      But he’s been expressing these same disgusting views for years and years, publicly and proudly – and his constituents keep electing him again and again. He has been in congress so long he has more seniority than two thirds of his peers. In the last election, the Republicans (to their credit) refused to finance his campaign and a lot of his agricultural PAC money evaporated, but he still won his election. If we can’t defeat the ones that don’t bother to hide, how in the hell are we going to defeat the ones smart enough to slink around in the shadows?

  7. Lightpurple says:

    He tweeted this morning that Trump should declare a State of Emergency to build a concrete wall that would stand forever as a monument to the rule of law. If Trump did so, he would be breaking the law and concrete doesn’t last forever. He’s a moron. A racist, sexist, law-breaking moron.

  8. Notyouraveragehousewife says:

    I’ll take a stab in the dark here but I’m willing to bet it’s offensive b/c white supremacists believe that being white makes them superior above all other races and all other races are totally expendable and not worthy of anything. Just a thought. Of course he doesn’t find it offensive. He’s white!

    • Bryn says:

      I don’t think he even know what supremacy means , he’s such an idiot. I bet he wouldn’t see a problem with people using the slogan white power either

    • Katie Keen says:

      “Of course he doesn’t find it offensive. He’s white!”

      Omg, my Trump loving father in a nutshell. He told me that in all of his life, whoever was president never had any personal effect on him, so what Trump is doing doesn’t matter. No irony, no awareness. Gah.

      I think white dudes have been told they’re right in every situation, to the point that they never developed the ability to self-reflect.

  9. Snowflake says:

    I can’t stand him or people like him. I’ve read comments like don’t be ashamed to be white! Wtf! I’m not ashamed to be white. I’m ashamed we have so much racism in our country. And I hate it when people say that wasnt rac,ism or they didnt mean it that way. If you werent there, how do you know? And really, how do you know what racism is if you’re white? Nowhere near the same! That day in 4th grade doesnt compare to what POC go through. I’m married to a mixed man and I’ve noticed a lot of subtle racism, like stares or dirty looks. One time, we were traveling and stopped at a rest stop to eat. I noticed this lady staring at my husband. She was staring so intently she didn’t notice me watching her. I feel so bad for my husband, the stuff that I’ve seen happen to him. He just mostly ignores it. I have a bad temper so i would get in fights if it was me. And he calms me down. But there’s that white privilege, i can get in a fight and it wouldn’t be that big of a deal. If my mixed 6 ft 2, 250 lb husband did, it would be a whole different ball game. I think that’s what us whites dont realize, that our everyday is not everyone else’s life. What we can get away w doing, others can’t.

    • Bryn says:

      I love when white people try to make it seem like things aren’t racist, when they usually don’t know anything about the experience of a person of colour. I’m white, and I’ll be the first one to say that I don’t know how it feels. I have a cousin who’s married to a man from the Sudan and things people have said to them is terrible. And these are usually “nice” people that just don’t seem to understand how racist they are. The comments usually start with “Don’t take this the wrong way” or “I’m not racist but…”

    • Some chick says:

      Thank you for saying this.

  10. aang says:

    Lies! It is all about race and class. The people queuing at the southern border are (for the most part) Christians (Catholics) who speak a European language and are products of “Western Civilization”. They also happen to be brown, poor, and mostly indigenous. In what ways are Mexican or Guatemalan culture any less western than US culture? Spain was the pinnacle of western power when they were pillaging Mexico. Although I wouldn’t be surprised if he considers southern Europeans to be “lesser” Europeans. Our constitution borrows heavily from the Haudenosaunee system of government. Our pop culture is heavily reliant on the descendants of slaves. What is more American than mixing the old with the new? Whites pay lip service to Natives in America, supposedly admiring them, fetishizing their culture. But the way the indigenous at the border are talked about and treated shows how much they are still reviled, even when they assimilate.

  11. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    What is wrong with these morons? There’s zero evolution going on. Even my husband has development issues at times and grunts like a caveman. It’s insane. Who doesn’t want to learn knew ideas, concepts, philosophies, histories of other cultures? The internet has been AWESOME in that respect for me. I can’t digest quick enough, and then for frakking sake, I can’t recall on demand. I’ll be having a conversation, discuss fairly well then go blank with some definition or other and remember hours later. Or days. Aging sux in more ways than zero evolution.

  12. Kate Kack says:

    Call his office if you truly give a shit! I did.

  13. Penguen says:

    Steve King,

    Jew, here – keep our name out of your mouth. You racists love to use Jewish people to disingenuously push your agendas. Quit it.

  14. The Other Katherine says:

    But he wasn’t shunned by Washington power brokers. This idea that King’s pre-Trump career suffered from his overt racism isn’t correct — Republican Party leadership weren’t bothered by his white supremacist views then either.

  15. ariel says:

    Can we organize a postcard writing campaign where we send several rounds of postcards noting “famous” white supremacists in history- and a short list that includes steve king and hitler and a few of their brethren and congratulate Iowans of continuing this legacy of evil and hate.
    Like a postcard a week- maybe with some really offensive klan quotes.

    People vote for him. People feel this way. Yet they do not recognize that this act qualifies them as racists, which qualifies them as bad people.

  16. Michel says:

    Being torn apart by wild dogs is not punishment enough for this piece of excrement.

  17. osito says:

    I’m currently reading “Mad as Hell” by Rebecca Traister, and I think it’s amazing, and everyone should read it or listen to the audiobook. I was going to leave a comment about this guy, and how hopeless his bullshit makes me feel, but I’d rather amplify a work of incredible depth, intelligence, and sensitivity to intersectionality.

  18. Lucy2 says:

    Yeah well I don’t get why this guy hasn’t been chased back into the racist hole he crawled out of, so there we are.

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