From “calves the size of cantaloupes” to “demographics are our destiny,” King has a long history of racism.
Rep. Steve King just can’t quit saying racist things.
Over the weekend, the Republican from Iowa drew criticism for tweeting that “culture and demographics are our destiny. We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.” The comments were blatantly racist, suggesting that immigrants and nonwhite Americans are “somebody else” and don’t belong in America.
King later went on CNN to clarify his remarks. Only he didn’t actually offer an apology. Instead, he said, “I meant exactly what I said.” And he added another racist remark on top of it: “If you go down the road a few generations or maybe centuries with the intermarriage, I’d like to see an America that’s just so homogenous that we look a lot the same.”
On some level, these events are shocking. This is an actual elected official in the US making blatantly racist arguments about who belongs in America and who doesn’t.
But on another level, this isn’t that surprising; this is just Steve King being Steve King. Here is a sampling of what the Congress member from Iowa has said in the past:
- On July 2016, on different races’ contributions to society: “This whole ‘white people’ business, though, does get a little tired, Charlie. I mean, 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?”
- On September 2015, on Muslims and immigration: “Why would you do this if you were president of the United States? [Obama is] seeking to change the demographics of the United States of America. And changing the demographics changes the politics, they’re going to have Democrat voters at least two-to-one, some numbers go all the way to five-to-one, and I’m not speaking only of Muslims, I’m speaking of the Central American immigrants that come into America too. … So if it turns into a few hundred thousand every year, how long is it before the culture of America is changed?”
- On August 2015, on whether America owes apologies to other places for slavery: “[Obama] apologized to Africa for slavery and genuflects to the Arabic princes and genuflects to the emperor of Japan, and it goes on and on. Americans are tired of apologizing, Ox. We’re a proud people. We’re the vigor of the planet and there’s nothing for us to apologize for until they come and thank us for the things we’ve done.”
- On July 2013, on undocumented immigrants: “Some of them are valedictorians — and their parents brought them in. It wasn’t their fault. It’s true in some cases, but they aren’t all valedictorians. They weren’t all brought in by their parents. For every one who’s a valedictorian, there’s another 100 out there who weigh 130 pounds — and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they’ve been hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert.”
The remarks all share a similar theme: According to King, white people have built a society superior to anything else in the world, and people of other places and races stand to diminish that society.
Typically, a politician may try to argue that these kinds of remarks are taken out of context or incidents of misspeaking. But when taken together, King’s remarks suggest that they make up a real worldview about the kind of people who should make up America. ■