If Western Civilization's So Superior, How Did It Produce Steve King?

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King with his favorite German and Dutch white nationalists. Photo from Twitter.

A few salient points on the much-deserved uproar greeting Rep. Steve King's (R-Iowa) grotesque support of Geert Wilders, the far-right leader of the Netherlands so-called Party For Freedom (at least for white people) facing an election this week. To back up: Wilders - who wants to ban the Quran, has proposed levying a towelhead taxon women who wear headscarves, and has boasted he's "proud" he doesn't want any more Muslims in his country - was featured in a cartoon from the anti-immigrant Voice of Europe; he is shown with his finger in a damn labelled "Western Civilization," saving it from sword-wielding Muslim hordes. To this, our own Steve King approvingly tweeted, "Wilders understands that culture and demographics are our destiny. We can't restore our civilization with somebody else's babies."

Asked to explain this sordid remark, King doubled down, insisting he's talking "culture" not race and concluding, "I'd like to see an America that's just so homogenous that we look a lot the same." Alas, this wasn't King's first run-in with decency; he's spent years using his office to spout white supremacist tropes and insults about brown people: Obama "wasn't raised with an American experience," Harriet Tubman on a $20 bill would be "racist," he's been confronted by "brazen illegal aliens," and no "sub-group" has contributed as much to "civilization" as - yes! - white people. He also supports Frauke AdolfinaPetry, the German anti-Muslim pol who suggests police shoot migrants, Germans need to have more children, and Europe's committing “cultural suicide by demographic transformation” - which King says is right on. So does the KKK's David Duke, who chirped to King's babies comment, "God bless Steve King! Sanity reigns supreme in Iowa's 4th Congressional District."

News flash: If Grand Wizards like what you're saying, you might want to rethink what you're saying. Most normal people were suitably outraged by King's in-your-face white supremacism: Under the hashtag noted of his "filth" that "We were all of us at some point in history," posted the immigration papers of King's grandmother Freda arriving here from Germany at age four with two younger siblings, argued "Jesus would have been somebody else's baby by Steve King's racist standard," urged, "When someone shows you who they are, please believe them," posted pictures of their own multi-cultural kids, and wryly asked, "Does it make me a bad mom if I sometimes long for the company of when my own kids are a$$holes?"

Finally, it's key to remember that while King's in-your-face racism once made him an outlier in the GOP, he now represents "the moment we're in" - illustrated by what Nancy Pelosi called "the deafening silence" from Paul Ryan and other GOP members after the latest obscenity. "Rep. Steve King is who the Republican Party actually is in 2017," writes one commentator. "No additional reminder of its character should be necessary." Given that, "silence is complicity." So too - note to a cowardly media - are euphemisms. King is a racist, period, and whitewashing terms like "overtones of" fail to make him accountable. The estimable Charlie Pierce called it out - "the most blatantly racist statement from a member of Congress in 50 years" - as did Media Matters, whereas the New York Times cautiously noted King "has a history of making inflammatory statements viewed by many as insensitive or outright racist." No, actually they're outright racist, period. They're also proof, to many, that "it's time to deport some white men." After King's remarks, Democrat Kim Weaver, who hopes to challenge him in 2018, got over $20,000 in donations. You know what to do.

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