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Republicans punish King for racist remarks

by Rachel Lynn Aldrich
Posted 1/15/19, 11:02 am

The Republican House steering committee has blocked Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, from all committee assignments for two years for lamenting to the media that white supremacy and white nationalism had become offensive terms. In announcing the committee’s decision Monday night, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said King’s remarks were “beneath the dignity of the party of Lincoln and the United States.” King, who was elected to his ninth term in November, served on the Agriculture, Small Business, and Judiciary committees in the last Congress and had chaired the Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice. House Democrats moved to formally punish King. Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C., introduced a resolution of disapproval late Monday, and two other Democratic representatives are introducing separate censure actions.

King suggested on the House floor on Friday that he has been misunderstood, explaining that the interview with The New York Times was in part a “discussion of other terms that have been used, almost always unjustly labeling otherwise innocent people.”

Randy Feenstra, a Republican state senator in Iowa who plans to run against King in the state’s 2020 GOP primary, said Monday, “Sadly, today, the voters and conservative values of our district have lost their seat at the table because of Congressman King’s caustic behavior.”


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Rachel Lynn Aldrich

Rachel is a World Journalism Institute graduate. Follow Rachel on Twitter @Rachel_Lynn_A.

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Comments

  • John Kloosterman
    Posted: Tue, 01/15/2019 06:39 pm

    Good.  King is a disgrace to the party.

  • OldMike
    Posted: Tue, 01/15/2019 08:54 pm

    Anyone remember the furor over some public figure using the word “niggardly?” 

    Despite its spelling, that word has absolutely nothing to do with race. (Look it up if you don’t believe me). But the politically correct whining class just could not accept that, and continually condemned whoever it was that said the word as an awful terrible horrible evil racist. 

    Admittedly, Rep. King has foot-in-mouth disease. So I wonder if this latest thing about King is just more clumsy wording being blown out of proportion. But of course, some of the loudest critics will just believe what they want and never let facts get in their way.

    It does seem peculiar that I have not been able to find ANYWHERE a video or direct quote of Rep. King’s allegedly offensive remarks. Are they hidden because the left and the media wants us to just take one reporter’s word for what was said, but which may really amount to little?  There may be a New York Times article with detail about King’s remarks, but I’m not a subscriber so I can’t read it. 

  • Laura W
    Posted: Tue, 01/15/2019 10:09 pm

    Here's a link for you with the quote in question: https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/congress/mcconnell-if-steve-king-doesn-... Also, the Times allows a limited number of articles without a subscription, so you can take a look at their quote from the original interview if you'd like. (While they certainly bring their own slant to the news, I haven't known them to deliberately lie about the facts.) It looks like it's not just an isolated incidence of poor choice of words for him. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/10/us/politics/steve-king-trump-immigrat...

    And really, if he has to ask how the term "white supremacist" in particular came to be considered offensive, something's not right there. Maybe a few people here and there have used the term innocently to mean something like western civilization has brought great benefits to the world, but I doubt there are very many. Just taking the words at face value, "supreme" means highest in rank, authority, degree or quality (Webster). Higher than what? Other races, of course. (And no, this isn't one of those cases where words have developed new meanings that don't match their original etymology.) So if anyone's managed to use that term and hasn't meant something racist by it, I'd have to guess it's been purely by accident. The correct response to anti-Western and anti-white sentiment is not to become the chauvinists they accuse us of being.

  • TWH
    Posted: Tue, 01/15/2019 11:11 pm

    Albert Mohler on "The Briefing" this morning pointed out that King had tried to tie three things together, White Nationalism, White Supremacy, and Western Civilization. The latter is certainly defensible, and is too often attacked, but the first two can't be interpreted as anything other than racial prejudice. In this case, identifying by skin color. 

    King has had plenty of opportunities to clean up his act if he is truly innocent. I hope the people of western Iowa, which I have a great affinity for, will demand his resignation. 

  • OldMike
    Posted: Wed, 01/16/2019 04:17 am

     Here’s the problem as I see it. 

    No question that Rep. King has a long history of offending minorities, Hispanics, and immigrants, publicly, in various venues. 

    But from all I can find out, his most recent remarks were not made in public, but in an interview with a New York Times reporter, who detailed what King said in a Times article. 

    Those who condemn what King said continually refer to what the writer of the article alleges King said, because apparently no one else heard the remarks, and no one else was present for the interview. 

    Rep. King has said his remarks were taken out of context, and has said he repudiates such beliefs as white supremacy and white nationalism. 

    But apparently, “guilty until proven innocent” is going to govern this. 

    Is it possible the Times writer, and the Times, have successfully pulled a “gotcha” on Rep. King?  On the other hand, if there has been an injustice done to Rep. King, maybe he deserves it and therefore the injustice is justified. The end justifies the means, isn’t that the modern way?

  • TWH
    Posted: Wed, 01/16/2019 07:07 pm

    King could simply ask for (or demand) the public release of that part of the interview. He hasn't come close to doing that. Based on things he has said publicly before, I suspect the NYT interviewer is hoping that King will give him an excuse to put the interview out there. Like so many politicians, King has gotten full of himself. Shouldn't be making provocative statements to get notoriety and shouldn't be be giving interviews to hostile media. 

  • Laura W
    Posted: Wed, 01/16/2019 09:51 pm

    Reporters do sometimes take quotes out of context, but the thing is I can't think of any context in which the quote comes out looking any less bad than it does now. Has he made any attempt to explain what the context actually was? (And if even he isn't denying that he said those words, then I see no reason not to take the quote at face value as something he actually said.)

  • John Kloosterman
    Posted: Fri, 01/18/2019 04:29 pm

    If he has a "long history" of this, that just makes it all the more overdue.  People slip up.  Quotes are taken out of context.  But if someone has a trend of doing it again, and again, and again, and again... then it's not just a mistake, or a misquote.  It's straight up a problem with the person.

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