Monday, May 20, 2024

GOP Leader Steve King Supports White Supremacy on Live TV

*While the media was freaking out over Melania Trump plagiarizing Michelle Obama, black news websites were reporting that Republican Congressman Steve King talked up white supremacy on live television. Soon after, a Trump delegate was removed for using the N-word.

It’s been another grim month in urban news, but a major news story from the Republican National Convention in Cleveland deserves more attention, and not just from black news websites. During a live television appearance on Monday, July 18, Rep. Steve King (Republican, Iowa) openly supported white supremacy. I don’t mean that he made a coded appeal to white identity politics or gave a not-so-subtle nod to right-wing bogeyman like black-on-black crime, I mean Republican Congressman Steve King literally supported white supremacy on live television, referring to other ethnicities as “subgroups.”

After a panelist mentioned (correctly) that the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland was dominated by angry white men, King let loose.

Tell us what you really think:

“This ‘old white people’ business does get a little tired, Charlie,” King said. “I’d ask you to go back through history and figure out, where are these contributions that have been made by these other categories of people that you’re talking about, where did any other subgroup of people contribute more to civilization?”

For reference, the phrase “subgroup” is remarkably similar to the term the Nazis used to mark ethnic groups for extermination. Untermensch. It means subhuman.

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The remarks came on an appearance with Chris Hayes on MSNBC to discuss current news from the convention. When Hayes clarified that King was in fact talking about white people, King answered, “Than, than Western civilization itself that’s rooted in Western Europe, Eastern Europe and the United States of America, and every place where the footprint of Christianity settled the world. That’s all of Western civilization.”

In a followup interview with The Washington Post, King doubled down on his comments.

“The idea of multiculturalism, that every culture is equal — that’s not objectively true,” King said to The Washington Post’s Philip Rucker.

No matter how you spin it, this is literal white supremacy, live on television from the Republican National Convention. When reporter April Ryan angrily challenged King, host Chris Hayes tried to move on.

While black news websites like EURWeb reported on King’s comments, Melania Trump’s plagiarism of Michelle Obama dominated the news coverage. Even Hayes was criticized for glossing over the incident too quickly.

The Southern Strategy Reaches Its Logical Conclusion in Trump

Ever since the modern day GOP adopted the Southern Strategy in the 1960s, Republican leaders have relied on dog whistles to rally angry white voters. But in the age of Donald J. Trump, now the official Republican candidate for president, some conservatives have put away the dog whistle, and are instead directly playing to white pride movements. Major GOP officials like Steve King now feel emboldened enough to support white supremacy on national television.

It’s not an isolated incident. Here are just a few more examples of toxic hate speech we’ve seen in the last two weeks:

  • Illinois Trump delegate Lori Gayne was kicked out of the convention after she gleefully called for violence against black people on Facebook. Gayne posted a picture of law enforcement officers on a roof with the caption: “Our brave snipers just waiting for some “N—- to try something. Love them.”
  • Incredibly, the Trump campaign has known about Gayne’s white pride beliefs since at least May, when it came to light that her Twitter handle is literally, “whitepride.” When the media called her out, she also doubled down and explicitly endorsed white pride.
  • Al Baldasaro, a New Hampshire state representative, Republican delegate, and official veteran’s affairs adviser to Trump himself, called for Hillary Clinton to be executed: “Hillary Clinton should be put in the firing line and shot for treason.”
  • Another Trump delegate, William Johnson from California, was forced to resign after Mother Jones revealed he had ties to a white supremacy group called the American Freedom Party.
  • Milo Yiannopoulos, a Breitbart editor and leader of the Alt-Right movement, was permanently banned from Twitter this week for allegedly encouraging his followers to harrass black actress Leslie Jones, who received a barrage of racist abuse online.
  • After Megyn Kelly appeared on Fox News wearing a spaghetti strap outfit that showed her shoulders (gasp!), conservatives flooded platforms like Twitter and Breitbart to call her a disgusting whore.
  • After a speech on the floor of the Republican National Convention, reality star Antonio Sabato Jr. said Obama is absolutely a Muslim who is on the side of the terrorists.

In light of current news incidents like these, it’s no wonder there has been so little reaction to a Republican congressman calling for white supremacy. It’s the new normal.

Don’t forget, the argument that white people have achieved some unique zenith of civilization is the exact argument the Germans made prior to the World Wars. Indeed, the idea that German society was superior to other “subgroups” is exactly what Hitler believed.

Clearly, Steve King doesn’t consider Americans of color to be a genuine part of Western civilization (and apparently abolition and the civil rights movement aren’t “contributions”). And this isn’t the first time King has flirted with white supremacy.

Earlier this year, the Iowa congressman released a video that showed a Confederate flag on his desk — even though Iowa wasn’t even in the confederacy! He also led the movement to keep Harriet Tubman off the $20 bill, arguing that putting a black woman on American currency was both sexist and racist.

Ironically, King said at the time: “This is liberal activism on the part of the president that’s trying to identify people by categories, and he’s divided us on the lines of groups.” He added, “This is a divisive proposal on the part of the president, and mine’s unifying. It says just don’t change anything.”

Now, King is the one putting people into subgroups.

steve king donald trump racist
An artist’s rendering of Steve King at a White Pride rally.

In a perfect world, politicians that openly called for white supremacy would be immediately disqualified from serving in the U.S. congress, and delegates with White Pride Twitter accounts wouldn’t be invited to the official GOP convention. But this isn’t a perfect world. It’s the world according to Donald J. Trump.

To let King know what you really think, hit him up on Facebook.

Image Sources: Steve King, Official Portrait of the 111th Congress; KKK Rally in Georgia, by Craig ONeal

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