Steve King's "White Supremacist" Comments

Steve King's "White Supremacist" Comments

Updated Jan 16, 2019 at 02:06PM EST by Matt.

Added Jan 16, 2019 at 12:57PM EST by Matt.

PROTIP: Press 'i' to view the image gallery, 'v' to view the video gallery, or 'r' to view a random entry.

This submission is currently being researched & evaluated!

You can help confirm this entry by contributing facts, media, and other evidence of notability and mutation.

Overview

Steve King's "White Supremacist Comments refers to a controversial quote by Representative Steve King of Iowa. In the quote, King asked, "White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization -- how did that language become offensive?" King claims the comments were taken out of context, but many were outraged by his comments, including members of Congress, who widely denounced the comments as racist. As a result, King was removed from committee assignments.

Background

On January 10th, 2019, the New York Times[1] published an article entitled "Before Trump, Steve King Set the Agenda for the Wall and Anti-Immigrant Politics." In the article, King asks:

White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization -- how did that language become offensive? Why did I sit in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and our civilization?

Developments

Online Reaction

That day, people on Twitter, by-and-large, reacted negatively to King's comments. Twitter[2] user @JuddLegum tweeted, "Steve King just openly embraced white supremacy I'm waiting for A SINGLE REPUBLICAN MEMBER OF THE HOUSE to speak out against this Seems like a pretty easy call So far, nothing." The tweet received more than 9,000 retweets and 30,000 likes in one week (shown below, left).

Others commented on the perceived double standard within governemnt for republicans to chastise democrats but not their own party, particularly Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Twitter[3] user @ManInTheHoody tweeted, "aoc: my nickname was 'sandy' republicans: BURN THE WITCH!!! steve king: my nickname is 'grand wizard' republicans: cool cool." The tweet received more than 3,500 retweets and 18,000 likes in one week (shown below, center).

Some said that King should be removed from office. Twitter[4] user @RWPUSA tweeted, "Steve King should be expelled from the House. His district can have a special election, this time with no Klansmen or persons of similar ilk on the ballot." The tweet received more than 4,000 retweets and 11,000 likes in 24 hours (shown below, right).


1. Steve King just openly embraced white supremacy I'm waiting for A SINGLE REPUBLICAN MEMBER OF THE HOUSE to speak out against this Seems like a pretty easy call So far, nothing aoc: my nickname was "sandy republicans: BURN THE WITCH! steve king: my nickname is "grand wizard" republicans: cool cool Steve King should be expelled from the House. His district can have a special election, this time with no Klansmen or persons of similar ilk on the ballot. 2140 King faces bipartisan condemnation after lamenting white nationalist langua... Republican Rep. Steve King -- who has long been a target for criticism because of his public comments on race and immigration rejected Thursday being labeled cnn.com

King's Response

On January 10th, King released a statement on the article. He tweeted, "The New York Times is suggesting that 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 they define. The tweet[5] received more tahn 2,300 retweets, 6,100 comments and 6,100 likes in one week (shown below, left).


Steve King My statement on the New York Times article. Today, the New York Times is suggesting that 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. It's true that like the Founding Fathers I am an advocate for Western Civilization's values, and that I profoundly believe that America is the greatest tangible expression of these ideals the World has ever seen. Under any fair political definition, I am simply a Nationalist. America's values are expressed in our founding documents, they are attainable by everyone and we take pride that people of all races, religions, and creeds from around the globe aspire to achieve them. I am dedicated to keeping America this way. This conviction does not make me a white nationalist or a white supremacist. Once again, I reject those labels and the ideology that they define. As I told the New York Times, 'it's not about race; it's never been about race.' One of my most strongly held beliefs is that we are all created in God's image and that human life is sacred in all its forms."

On January 15th, King made an address to House of Representatives, following a resolution that would make an official disavowal of King's statements. He said in his statement that he would vote in favor of such a resolution (shown below).



Government Response

Within Congress, King's comments were widely denounced. On January 14th, 2019, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell spoke out against King's comments.[6] He said:

There is no place in the Republican Party, the Congress or the country for an ideology of racial supremacy of any kind. Rep. King’s statements are unwelcome and unworthy of his elected position. If he doesn’t understand why ‘white supremacy’ is offensive, he should find another line of work.

That day, House Republicans stripped King of his place on the Judiciary and Agriculture Committees.

King responded forcefully to the removal, calling it an "unprecedented assault on [his] freedom of speech." He tweeted,[7] "When I used the word 'THAT" it was in reference ONLY to Western Civilization and NOT to any previously stated evil ideology ALL of which I have denounced. My record as a vocal advocate for Western Civilization is nearly as full as my record in defense of Freedom of Speech." The tweet received more than 4,300 retweets, 9,300 likes and 13,000 comments (shown below).


Steve King Ф Follow My Statement on Kevin McCarthy's Unprecedented Assault on my Freedom of Speech King Statement Regarding Leader McCarthy's Decision "Leader McCarthy's decision to remove me from committees is a political decision that ignores the truth The truth is as follows: One of my quotes in a New York Times story has been completely mischaracterized. Here's the context I believe accurately reflects my statement. In a 56 minute interview, we discussed the changing use of language in political discourse. We discussed the worn out label "racist" and my observation that other slanderous labels have been increasingly assigned to Conservatives by the Left, who injected into our current political dialog such terms as Nazi, Fascist, White Nationalist, white supremacist,-western civilization, how did THAT language become offensive? Why did I sit in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and our civilization?"...just to watch Western Civilization become a derogatory term in political discourse today. Clearly, I was only referencing Western Civilization classes. No one ever sat in a class listening to the merits of white nationalism and white supremacy. When I used the word THAT it was in reference ONLY to Western Civilization and NOT to any previously stated evil ideology ALL of which I have denounced. My record as a vocal advocate for Western Civilization is nearly as full as my record in defense of Freedom of Speech. Ultimately, I told him'You have to do what you have to do and I will do what I have to do.'I will continue to point out the truth and work with all the vigor that I have to represent 4h District lowans for at least the next two years."

Media Coverage

On January 16th, 2019, Iowa newspaper the Sioux City Journal's Editorial Board[8] called on Steve King to resign. They wrote:

It's time for Steve King to go. He should resign his seat in the U.S. House. A new election should be held for voters in Iowa's 4th Congressional District to choose a replacement […] It's hard for us to summon words that will properly convey how repugnant we view that remark.

Virtually every major news outlet covered the controversy, including The New York Times, The Hill,[9] Politico,[10] Washington Post,[11] NBC[12] and more

Search Interest

External References

Recent Videos 1 total

Recent Images 12 total

+ Add a Comment

Comments (61)


Display Comments

Add a Comment


Yo Yo! You must login or signup first!