The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), fed up with Iowa’s GOP Rep. Steve King’s white supremacist statements going unpunished by his party, demanded action from the Republicans.
Republican leaders must move beyond “shallow temporary statements” condemning King and remove the Iowa lawmaker from his committee assignments, California’s Democratic Rep. Karen Bass, chairwoman of the CBC, tweeted on Saturday.
King has a history of making racist comments. In his most recent controversial statement, he defended white supremacy.
“White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive? Why did I sit in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and our civilization?” he asked the New York Times in an interview published on Thursday.
A handful of Republicans publicly denounced his comment. The GOP’s only Black Senate lawmaker, South Carolina’s Sen. Tim Scott, joined the small chorus of voices from his party criticizing King. Scott penned his views in an op-ed that appeared Friday in the Washington Post.
However, Scott backpedaled later that day when asked whether King was a racist and should resign, the Huffington Post reported.
Democratic Black lawmakers are less forgiving than Scott and his Republican colleagues.
“Like Donald Trump, Steve King has sought again and again to give comfort to white supremacists, something that should never be allowed in the halls of Congress or the Oval Office,” Bass stated. “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. 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.”
Over the years, King has made it clear that he supports a white supremacist vision of America.
In 2017, he predicted that Blacks and Hispanics “will be fighting each other” before they displace white Americas as the largest segment of the population. That comment came on a radio show in response to Univision anchor Jorge Ramos‘ comment to Tucker Carlson on Fox News that white Americans would become a majority-minority demographic by 2044.
The panelists were discussing events taking place on the first day of the Republican convention. Esquire’s Charles Pierce commented on the lack of diversity among the party’s delegates and the GOP’s future:
“If you’re really optimistic, you can say that this is the last time that old White people will command the Republican Party’s attention, its platform, its public face,” Pierce stated. “That hall is wired by loud, unhappy, dissatisfied white people.”
King countered: “This old white people business does get a little tired, Charlie. 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?”
“Republicans should make clear Mr. King is no longer welcomed in their party or Congress. Anything less than these substantive actions is another tacit acceptance of racism from the Republican Party,” Bass’ statement added.