Republicans Are Only Pretending to Care That Steve King Is a Racist

Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, attends a rally with Angel Families on the East Front of the Capitol, to highlight crimes committed by illegal immigrants in the U.S., on September 7th, 2018. Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/Getty Images

"King has a long history of making racist comments and aligning himself with white supremacists."

Rolling Stone, January 14, 2009

"GOP leaders have condemned the Iowa congressman’s comments about white supremacy, but they stop short of withdrawing their support..."

President Trump has yet to condemn King or his comments.

Rep. Steve King (R-IA) is a racist. Americans were reminded of this last week when the congressman told the New York Times that he doesn’t understand what’s so offensive about valuing one race above others. “White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?” he said. “Why did I sit in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and our civilization?”

King tried to walk back the comments, both through a statement posted to Twitter and then in an impassioned speech on the floor of the House of Representatives, in which he essentially implored colleagues to pretend he didn’t say what he said, and to ignore the unmistakably racist comments he’s made in the past. “Today the New York Times is suggesting that I am an advocate for white nationalism and white supremacy,” King said. “I want to make one thing abundantly clear: I reject those labels and the evil ideology they define.” He went on to note that the people who know him know can vouch for him, as he’s “lived in the same place since 1978.”

The fallout proceeded as expected, with a cavalcade of Republicans issuing statements condemning the comments, but not King’s presence in Congress. “I find it offensive to claim white supremacy,” Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) told reporters. “I will condemn it.” Fellow Iowa Republican Sen. Joni Ernst felt similarly. “I condemn Rep. Steve King’s comments on white supremacy; they are offensive and racist – and not representative of our state of Iowa,” she tweeted. “We are a great nation and this divisiveness is hurting everyone. We cannot continue down this path if we want to continue to be a great nation.”

" ... Republicans are hard-wired to furrow their brows and speak solemnly about the ills of racism, but they short circuit as soon as they’re asked — if they’re asked — what they’re going to do about it, and whether someone as transparently racist as King should be in Congress. (Rolling Stone reached out to Grassley, Ernst and King asking whether they believe King should continue to serve in Congress in light of his recent remarks, but received no response.) ...
Read full article at Rolling Stone

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