Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) has come out against statements made by a fellow Republican, Iowa Representative Steve King, in a new Washington Post op-ed.
In an interview with The New York Times published Thursday, King asked, “White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?" As Blavity has reported, King has a history of identifying with white supremacists and has been heralded as a hero by supremacist outlets like the Daily Stormer.
Addressing King's newest comments, Scott wrote, “Some in our party wonder why Republicans are constantly accused of racism — it is because of our silence when things like this are said."
The senator from South Carolina also wrote, "anyone who needs “white nationalist” or “white supremacist” defined, described and defended does lack some pretty common knowledge,” and explained white supremacists are bad in part because they kill people. And not just in the distant past, but in the past two years.
Scott cites the supremacist attack in Charlottesville that left Heather Heyer dead, the supremacist on the hunt for Black lives to take who ended up killing two people at a Kroger last November and Dylann Roof's brutal slaying of nine Black people who were trying to worship at church.
He also lists killings by supremacists in the 1990s and 1960s, writing, “These are just a sliver of the havoc that white nationalists and white supremacists have strewn across our nation for hundreds of years.”
The senator also described King and others with similar views as damaging to "our nation as a whole."
"They continue to rip at the fabric of our nation, a country built on hope, strength and diversity. It is the opposite of civility and fairness and will lead only to more pain and suffering," Scott wrote. "We have made significant progress in our nation, and while there is still work to do, we cannot let these intolerant and hateful views hold us back."
While King has not responded to his colleague's criticism directly, he did take to the House floor to try to explain his stance on white supremacists on Friday, The Hill reports.
"I reject those labels and the evil ideology that they define,” King said. “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."
The representative finished things off by saying that like President Trump, he now identifies as "simply a nationalist."
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