Steve King has a long history of making racially insensitive comments, and while the Iowa Republican wasn’t taken to task for his previous comments either by his own party or the Democrats, the emergence of a new brood of politicians means that is no more the case.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the New York representative who has already garnered a massive following among millennials for her blatant and direct take-downs of GOP policies, ripped into King for his racially-tinged comments, saying it was amazing that the Republican Party had chosen a “white supremacist” to represent 700,000 people.
“Out of the minority of seats they have in Congress, the GOP allowed a white supremacist to represent ~700,000 people,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted.
“Republicans won’t even censure him. They also protect a president who can’t bring himself to condemn neo-Nazis. Those aren’t seeds. They’re redwoods.”
Ocasio-Cortez was referring to the comments King recently made in an interview with the New York Times, in which he said he couldn’t understand why ideas like white supremacism weren’t in vogue anymore.
“White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?” King asked. “Why did I sit in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and our civilization?”
This is not the first time that King has made such comments, but the fallout from this interview could cost him dearly. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy reprimanded King for his comments, saying the GOP needed to have a hard look at his role and future within the party.
“Action will be taken,” McCarthy told CBS’s Face the Nation. “I’m having a serious conversation with Congressman Steve King on his future and role in this Republican Party.”
The comments also led the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) to demand King’s expulsion from the Republican Party. Comparing King to Trump, CBC chairwoman Representative Karen Bass said that the Iowa congressman had repeatedly made racist comments with complete immunity in his career. She said that there was no option for the GOP but to expel him if they are serious about condemning such talk.
“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,” she said, according to Newsweek. “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.”
As mentioned, King has a very troubled history when it comes to race. In the past, King has been in the headlines for remarking that “our civilization” cannot be restored with “someone else’s babies,” retweeting a message from a Nazi sympathizer and then defending it for weeks, and saying that black people could have abortions if they stopped buying iPhones.