Representative Steve King (R-IA) made some questionable remarks defending white supremacy recently, and now the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) and fellow House members are calling for punishment.
As Blavity has reported, King is no stranger to making disparaging remarks. This time, however, the longtime congressman publicly admitted he couldn't understand the problem with white supremacy.
"White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?" King asked The New York Times Thursday. "Why did I sit in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and our civilization?"
Naturally, this angered his fellow representatives from both sides of the political spectrum.
These comments are abhorrent and racist and should have no place in our national discourse. Steve King asks how terms 'white nationalist' and 'white supremacist' became offensive | TheHill https://t.co/yL23avpNFB
— Liz Cheney (@Liz_Cheney) January 10, 2019
You spelled “racist” wrong. https://t.co/GZOYbERSIi
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) January 12, 2019
In a statement obtained by CNN, members of the Congressional Black Caucus advocated for removing King from his committee posts. According to his website, the representative serves on the House Committee on the Judiciary, Committee on Small Business and Committee on Agriculture.
"If Republicans really believe these racist statements have no place in our government, then their party must offer more than shallow temporary statements of condemnation," declared CBC Chairwoman Representative Karen Bass (D-CA). "Instead, they must actually condemn Mr. King by removing him from his committee assignments so that he can no longer affect policies that impact the very people he has made it clear he disdains."
Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) also denounced King's remarks, and said they were "unworthy" of a member of Congress.
"I have no tolerance for such positions and those who espouse these views are not supporters of American ideals and freedoms," McConnell stated. "Representative King's statements are unwelcome and unworthy of his elected position."
As Blavity reported, Senator Tim Scott (R-SC), the only Black GOP senator, wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post in which he said, "Some in our party wonder why Republicans are constantly accused of racism — it is because of our silence when things like this are said."
Despite claiming to be heavily in tune with the daily news, President Trump "coincidentally" hadn't heard about King's comments. In fact, when asked about it, ABC News reports Trump simply retorted: "I haven’t been following it."
This response triggered even more uproar online, as many wondered how the president managed to keep himself abreast of celebrity gossip without even once noticing news about a key figure in his own party.
Trump is very up on the details of Jeff Bezos’ divorce. But when asked about Steve King’s white supremacist comments he says: “I haven’t been following it.”
— Abby D. Phillip (@abbydphillip) January 14, 2019
People Trump criticized this weekend:
The Washington Post
The New York Times
People Trump did not criticize:
Steve King, after he openly embraced white supremacy
— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) January 13, 2019
Since his interview with The New York Times made headlines, King has not issued a written apology, but CNN reports he did give a speech rebutting claims he is a white nationalist on Friday while speaking on the House floor.
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