Quantcast
Connect with us

Here’s the real reason Republicans are finally calling out Rep. Steve King’s blatant racism

Published

on

- Commentary

Rep. Steve King, the Iowa congressman with a long record of racist and xenophobic positions and rhetoric, is finally being repudiated by the Republican Party. But  only because he told the truth.

This article was originally published at Salon

King has espoused apparent white nationalist views views since first winning election on an “English-only” platform 16 years ago. But it wasn’t until Tuesday, one week before the crucial midterm elections and one day after a shock poll showed King leading his Democratic challenger by only one point, that a Republican colleague finally saw fit to call him out.

ADVERTISEMENT

Every time Republicans have had to clean up after King, whose entire political career is based on an overt appeal to deep-rooted white bigotry, they have never described his positions or statements as racist. Not one prominent Republican strongly denounced King’s 2013 statement that undocumented students had “calves the size of cantaloupes” because they had crossed the border as drug mules. Republicans stood silently during the 2016 election when he said only white people had made meaningful contributions to human civilization.

Republicans looked the other way when it was revealed that King keeps a small version of the Confederate flag on his desk. For the record, the state he represents fought with the Union during the Civil War: Iowa had a higher proportion of its adult male population serve in the Union Army than any other state, and more than 13,000 Iowans died in the historic conflict that ended slavery.

When King insisted just last year, “We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies” — making clear that he opposes all immigration, not just people who cross the border illegally — Republican condemnation amounted to a collective shoulder shrug.

Diversity is not our strength. Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban, “Mixing cultures will not lead to a higher quality of life but a lower one.” https://t.co/ZlMXzcc87w

— Steve King (@SteveKingIA) December 8, 2017

“Steve King is Steve King,” former Iowa governor and Trump’s ambassador to China Terry Branstad said of his fellow Iowa Republican last year. Current Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds has kept him on as her campaign co-chair.

ADVERTISEMENT

Contrary to some reports, in fact, Republicans weren’t even moved to publicly denounce King after it was revealed that he recently met with a far-right Austrian political party with ties to the Nazis. There was no condemnation from GOP leadership after King tweeted his support for a white supremacist politician in Canada on Oct. 17. It wasn’t until reporters like Alex Kotch and Judd Legum began to question King’s corporate sponsors, leading companies like Land O’Lakes, Purina, and Intel to cease funding his campaign, that Republican leaders finally called King what he is: a white supremacist.

The Sioux City Journal editorial board, which has endorsed King in each of his previous campaigns, had already endorsed his Democratic opponent, J.D. Scholten, by the time National Republican Congressional Committee chairman Rep. Steve Stivers, R-Ohio, rebuked King on Twitter Tuesday afternoon. Scholten followed that up by announcing on Wednesday that he had raised $350,000 from more than 7,500 donors in one day.

Republicans always whine about being unfairly labeled as racist. That has even been posited as the reason why Donald Trump was elected in 2016: If only coastal elites, with their fancy college degrees and calls for diversity, hadn’t bullied and intimidated Trump voters, then none of this would have happened. Hours before Stivers won praise for his belated denunciation, King posted Halloween costume ideas mocking diversity on Facebook.

ADVERTISEMENT

There is nothing unfair about the charges of racism thrown at the GOP. And Republicans didn’t just tolerate King or look the other way; they embraced him, even granting him a kingmaker role in presidential politics. Nearly a dozen Republican hopeful traveled to Des Moines for King’s “Iowa Freedom Summit” in 2015, and King ended up serving as Ted Cruz’s campaign co-chair before, of course, pivoting to Trump.

It’s not as if the Republicans’ race problem is limited to Steve King. Stivers himself was forced to defend the NRCC’s ad depicting George Soros as a Democratic puppetmaster, a common anti-Semitic trope, just one day after a white supremacist shot 11 people at a synagogue in the largest hate crime perpetrated against Jews in U.S. history. That ad is still on the air, a week after Soros was targeted with an IED sent to his home by the so-called MAGAbomber. The campaign arm of House Republicans also came under scrutiny earlier his year for ads attacking a black Democratic candidate who released a rap mixtape criticizing white supremacy. Republicans called his lyrics “anti-American.”

ADVERTISEMENT

This is a real radio ad currently running in Arkansas in support of Republican Congressman French Hill on radio stations targeted to the African American community. I don’t even have words to describe it. pic.twitter.com/vpzt1nGPlc

— (((Ben Tribbett))) (@notlarrysabato) October 18, 2018

Republican candidates, be they so-called moderates or conservatives, have employed even more overt racial provocations in their own campaign advertisements this cycle.

New Jersey Rep. Tom MacArthur described his Korean-American Democratic opponent as “Real Fishy” using a typeface called “Chop Suey.” Indicted New York Republican Rep. Chris Collins picked on his opponent’s Korean-American wife to suggest he wants “fewer jobs for us … more jobs for China and Korea.” Another indicted GOP member of the House, California’s Duncan Hunter, released an ad accusing his Democratic opponent, who is of Latino and Palestinian heritage, of “working to infiltrate Congress” and baselessly claimed he was “funded by the Muslim Brotherhood.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Former Republican Rep. Ron DeSantis, who left the House to run for Florida governor, told Fox News viewers after winning his primary that the voters shouldn’t “monkey this up” by electing his Democratic opponent Andrew Gillum, who is black. The GOP’s nominee for the Senate in Virginia is a neo-Confederate, and the party’s Senate nominee in Minnesota once compared former first lady Michelle Obama to a “chimp.”

“We’ve reached the tipping point with guys like Steve King. He’s no longer palatable to people who may agree with him. They don’t like the racism. They don’t like the overt demagoguery,” said Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, while making a pitch for King’s opponent.

Maybe that’s the case. But if Republicans are serious about purging overt racism from their party, they’ll have to prove it on Election Day.

ADVERTISEMENT

Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

‘A coward and a commander’: New Lincoln Project ad contrasts Trump with James Mattis

Published

on

On Friday, the conservative anti-Trump group The Lincoln Project released a new attack ad against President Donald Trump — this time using the criticism of his former Defense Secretary James Mattis, and comparing and contrasting their leadership ability.

"This is the story of a coward and a commander," said the ad's narrator. "The coward Trump dodged the draft. Jim Mattis led American troops for forty years. While a frightened Trump hides from protesters in a deep bunker firing off tweets, Jim Mattis does what he's always done: Leads. While Donald Trump angrily attacks, General Mattis' words deserve to be heard by every American."

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

NFL Commissioner Goodell apologizes for league’s indifference to players’ protests against racism

Published

on

On Friday, CNN reported that National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell is acknowledging his organization turned a blind eye when his athletes took a knee to protest racism and police violence, and issued a formal apology.

"We, the National Football League, admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest," Goodell said in a newly released Instagram video. "It has been a difficult time for our country. In particular, black people in our country. First, my condolences to the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and all the families who have endured police brutality."

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Maxine Waters calls for Trump’s Cabinet initiate the 25th Amendment ‘before this would-be dictator takes us all down’

Published

on

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) called for Donald Trump to be removed from office on Friday.

"Is there one brave member of Trump’s cabinet who would move to initiate the 25th Amendment to remove him from office?" Waters asked on the president's favorite social networking platform.

The 25th Amendment would allow Vice President Mike Pence to ascend to the presidency if a majority of Trump's cabinet declares "the president is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office."

"Now is the time to save our country before this would-be dictator takes us all down!" Waters warned.

Continue Reading
 
 
You need honest news coverage. Help us deliver it. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1. Go ad-free.
close-image