Congressman Faces Huge Backlash After Defending Racist Twitter Rant
Even Republicans are speaking out
Rep. Steve King, R-IA, is no stranger of xenophobic comments. He was blowing the dog whistle of racially tinged immigration rants years before Donald Trump emerged on the political scene. So, it’s no surprise that King has become one of the president’s biggest supporters on policies like the much-derided travel ban.
But King escalated his own already divisive rhetoric when he sent out a tweet supporting Dutch politician Geert Wilders, who has risen to prominence in his own country with anti-Muslim and anti-immigration policy proposals. In the tweet, King wrote:
“Wilders understands that culture and demographics are our destiny. We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.”
There was an immediate outcry over King’s remarks, which carried the implication that only white people can maintain Western culture. And along with a chorus of progressive voices, the condemnation was immediately joined by a number of prominent Republicans who were not shy about calling out racism in its most obvious and distasteful form:
Chelsea Clinton chimed in with a series of tweets as well:
Now, this is the time where a normal politician walks back from their offensive remarks, offering some attempt at moderation and clarity. Not King.
“It’s a clear message," King said during an interview with CNN’s New Day morning program. “We need to get our birth rates up or Europe will be entirely transformed within a half century or a little more. And Geert Wilders knows that and that’s part of his campaign and part of his agenda.”
King went on to explain his view that “Western civilization” is “superior” but is under attack by immigrants who do not fully assimilate.
“I'd like to see an America that's just so homogenous that we look a lot the same, from that perspective,” he said.
King has long supported Wilders, even posting a photo he took with the leader back in September 2016.