U.S. Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, has been in hot water for the last 24 hours over comments that he made regarding the preservation of western civilization — a comment many on the left and even some within his own party took, what he insists, the wrong way.
To understand the full extent of what was said, you have to go back to King’s initial tweet in which he stated that you cannot preserve western culture by having someone else’s babies.
Wilders understands that culture and demographics are our destiny. We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies. https://t.co/4nxLipafWO
— Steve King (@SteveKingIA) March 12, 2017
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan later said in comments reported by TIME that he hoped Steve King “misspoke.” King appeared on Tucker Carlson Tonight on Monday, March 13, to set the record straight for Ryan and others concerned about the remarks.
“I didn’t misspeak at all,” King said. “I said exactly what I meant.” And what King meant, he insisted, is that the birth rates of western civilizations are not keeping pace with the death rates with the exception of Israel. That has to change “or the vacuum that’s filled will be by people who do not share our values.”
— Full Frontal (@FullFrontalSamB) March 13, 2017
Carlson took a less combative approach than CNN’S Chris Cuomo did with King, restating his position as being more concerned about the effects of immigration than anything racially motivated.
King said the country went through a “re-assimilation period from the 1920s through the 1960s in which the U.S. scaled back immigration in order to re-focus on its common history, common culture, and common experiences that bind us together.”
“We’re at this place in America where people are marching in the streets and pushing back against American culture and civilization,” King said, adding that protesters were “promoting multiculturalism and diversity as if it were our strength.”
Carlson then said that the problem with King’s initial tweet is that it suggested “a racial component to American identity.”
King said that if he had more than the 140 characters what he would have added at the end of that tweet would have been that western civilization could not be saved from another culture’s babies “unless we adopt them.”
On Paul Ryan’s hope that King misspoke, the Iowa congressman said that while there was no personal friction between the speaker and himself “he’s more of an open borders advocate, and I am the opposite.”
That said, King said he believes that Ryan “just misunderstands what I said.”
“It was characterized by the left as having a race component, but nothing in my statement references race in any way. We have to restore western civilization,” King said.
King has at least one conservative defender, following the comments by GOP “NeverTrumper” Ben Shapiro, who hammered the media in one of his latest columns and reiterating what Steve King confirmed at the end of Tucker Carlson Tonight.
Shapiro charged that the media reporting conveniently left off some clarification statements that Steve King made on the now infamous CNN New Day appearance and only instead gravitated towards the sound bite.
— The Hill (@thehill) March 13, 2017
“It’s the culture, not the blood,” King said on the CNN program. “If you could go anywhere in the world and adopt these little babies and put them into households that were already assimilated into America, those babies will grow up as American as any other baby with as much patriotism and as much love of country as any other baby. It’s not about race, it’s never been about race … It’s a clash of cultures, not a race.”
While King’s “phraseology is awkward, no doubt,” Shapiro says, he’s making a different point than the one his opponents are attributing to him. German leader Angela Merkel made a similar statement to Steve King about multiculturalism in December, 2015, Shapiro argues, adding that multiculturalism “leads to parallel societies and therefore remains a ‘life lie,’ or a sham … The challenge is immense. We want and we will reduce the number of refugees noticeably.”
“Is Merkel a white nationalist or white supremacist?” Shapiro then adds.
What do you think, readers? In light of the Merkel comments and the clarification by Rep. Steve King, do you view his comments differently? Sound off in the comments section.
[Featured Image by Ryan J. Reilly/Flickr Creative Commons/Resized and Cropped/CC BY 2.0]