Is Rep. King the Biggest Bigot in Congress?

Last night's comments questioning the contributions of non-white people to the advancement of human civilization may have crowned it.

U.S. Congressman Steve King of Iowa on Monday night said that white people contributed more to civilization than any other category or “sub-group of people.”

During a live broadcast from the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, panelists led by MSNBC moderator Chris Hayes were discussing the racial makeup of the Republican Party and its convention attendees.

Charles Pierce of Esquire magazine noted the party’s lack of diversity, saying those in attendance consisted of “loud, unhappy, dissatisfied white people.”

“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, and its public face,” Pierce said, followed by King’s racist tirade.

“This whole ‘white people’ business does get a little tired, Charlie,” King said. “I’d ask you to go back through history and figure out, where have these contributions been made by these other categories of people that you’re talking about. Where did any other sub-group of people contribute more to civilization?”

“Than white people?” asked Hayes.

“Than — than Western civilization itself, that’s rooted in Western Europe, Eastern Europe, and the United States of America, and every place where the footprint of Christianity settled the world,” King continued. “That’s all of Western civilization.”

April Ryan, White House correspondent and Washington bureau chief for American Urban Radio Networks, was also on the panel and shot back: “What about Africa? What about Asia?”

Before the discussion could continue, Hayes interrupted in an attempt to temper the chaos, saying, “We’re not going to argue the history of Western civilization. Let me note for the record that if you’re looking at the ledger for Western civilization, [in] every flourishing democracy you’ve got Hitler and Stalin as well, so there’s a lot on both sides.”

Hayes tweeted shortly afterward, saying that he was “pretty taken aback by Steve King’s comments. I probably should’ve blown through break and let @AprilDRyan respond. But… The entire notion of debating which race/civilization/ ‘sub group’ contributed most or is best is as odious as it is preposterous.”

For her part, Ryan said in a Periscope feed she was “kind of shaken from that. Because that was just in-my-face racism.”

Iowa Democratic Party Chairwoman Andy McGuire, from King’s home state, said blatant racism has become normalized by Trump. “Donald Trump built his candidacy on hate speech, division and anti-immigration rhetoric,” he told The Des Moines Register. “Steve King is merely following Trump’s lead with his latest blatantly racist comments.”

Dr. Jill Stein, the Green Party’s presidential candidate, called upon Republicans to “leave this shameful party.”

Racism is nothing new for King. He has made disparaging comments about Muslims and Latinos, fought very hard to keep Harriet Tubman off the $20 bill and earlier this month blamed President Barack Obama for the “anti-white/cop events” — referring to the recent killings of police officers.

With regard to Muslims, King in December said Muslims in America — including Muslim congressmen — must renounce Sharia, which is a broad term for legal and ethical principles outlined in Islamic scriptures.

“Sharia law is incompatible with the United States Constitution and so if they want to demonstrate that they are open to being Americanized, the first thing they should do is renounce Sharia law,” King said. “You won’t get Keith Ellison or André Carson in this Congress to renounce Sharia law, let alone somebody that’s just come out of the Middle East that is someone who has been steeped in Islam for a lifetime.”

Rep. Ellison called the comments “incredibly ignorant.”

Related Story: All Muslims in U.S. Must be Tested for Their Beliefs, Says Gingrich

And with regard to Latinos, King in 2013 insisted that for every immigrant in the U.S. illegally who becomes a valedictorian, “there’s another 100 out there that — they weigh 130 pounds, and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they’re hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert.”

King was also recently caught with a Confederate flag on his desk during a television interview in his office for a local news channel. Ironically, the state of Iowa, where King was born and raised and currently represents, fought with the Union during the Civil War.

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  • I have always said that the one sided education we receive in this country in history does as micj a disservice to white people as it does to Black people or any group of color. He is proof personified of the delusional state of mind such a system creates when all people believe only whites contributed to the growth and development of this country.

  • “The Biggest Bigot in Congress?” Hard to tell. He’s got a lot of serious competition.

  • Not only is it incredibly narrow minded to say something like that, but it also makes me think of the ‘ugly American’ side of our culture that shows up time and again. Very ego/ethno-centric to say European/Western Civilization/Christian is the beginning of all things discovered, achieved, appreciated…and patently not true. Better education surrounding aboriginal/indigenous people worldwide is a start, more time spent on ancient history, world religions and so forth would also help.

  • For starters, the blood of Black America continues to be shed to civilize America, and drag intellectual or mental cave -dwellers like Steve King out of their moral miasma that is fast making white America odious to the rest of civilized and moral humanity.

    • LOL! You are SO right! “The footprint of Christianity”??? Guess he never heard that more Nobel prizes have been won by Jews than any other significant group! :-)

  • I’m mortified that a Congressman from my state made those statements and has that attitude. That is NOT what this state is all about!

  • I never thought I would see the day, but that’s all for me, folks. After a long ride on the Republican train, I’m getting off at the Democrat stop. Anybody coming with me?

  • Someone please ask him if the inventions, contributions, land, wages, and other assets that were stole from blacks, are worth mentioning. I really want to see him answer that question! I can imagine him being a smart person however, he shared what him and his colleagues really believe. Time to stop sharing the nonsense, and become part of the solution.

  • I don’t think ignorance is an excuse for the statements made by Congressman King. It is pure and unadulterated racism. I don’t think the people supporting the republican ticket should get to use ignorance as an excuse either. I don’t think reporters, broadcasters, or moderators have an excuse for not being prepared for this kind of interaction.

    I also don’t think the apology Christopher Hayes made is good enough. The apology needs to happen on the same network, prime time, with some facts of what people of color have accomplished. For instance: the earliest known evidence leading to of the origins of math, astronomy, physics, metallurgy, writing, and even medicine.

    No doubt Ms. Ryan can hold her own but I think Chris should have done a better job keeping facts on the table?

  • The only reason I am replying today is that I want to make sure that no one thinks that all white people are as stupid as this man…

    It took me less than a second to find this information – had I spent more time I am sure I would have found more – I am sure I would have found more contributions from persons of color in Africa, Asia, Pacific Countries etc etc

    So I was looking for inventions of Black People in America – I found this site


  • Rafael Brathwaite

    Unfortunately I know quite a few people that believe that I wouldn’t expect that from a congressman who supposed to be representing people in this country. I’ve heard that said from high-ranking officers in the Air National Guard. What it demonstrates is there a lack of Education evidently they have never studied world history

  • If you just look at basic things; Steve King enjoys air conditioning I am sure, the traffic light has probably kept him safe while driving, his clothes probably get washed and then ironed or pressed. Perhaps as a youth he enjoyed a peanut butter and jelly sandwich from time to time. Then there are the procedures that Dr. Ben Carson developed with regard to heart surgery that may one day keep King alive. Oh, I forgot about the preservation of blood products and plasma. Ignorance is bliss.

    • This country would not be nearly as great as it is without Black people. Our very core is bedded in the emancipation of enslaved people – which was a failure of the founders, but rectified by the Civil War – in which 3 million Americans died (in proportion to today’s population). After the failure of reconstruction, we had another almost 100 years of Jim Crow, followed by the civil rights era and we’re still forced to fight today. The core of the this country’s values are recognition ofour Creator-given rights. We are still fighting for the full expression of those rights – and if it weren’t for Black people, I don’t think this never would’ve happened. #BLM

  • Carroll Straus

    The problem here is not a lack of education. These people know better. They also know who their audience is. Facts have no part in this milieu. It’s all about xenophobia.

    • You’re right. This is not about a difference of opinion. It’s pandering to bigots and racists, and inciting hate. It’s disgusting and un-American. The Republican Party is making a big mistake by not repudiating this garbage, aside from the morality of it all, the electorate is going to be more than half nonwhite by the end of this decade.

  • David Rhodesa

    The best way to demonstrate that Rep. King is a racist and white supremacist is (((rest edited out)))

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