U.S. Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), known for his xenophobic views against anyone who isn’t white, Christian or American-born, is in hot water after tweeting a message seemingly in support of white nationalism. King’s remarks immediately sparked backlash among Dems and Independents, but besides a handful of GOPers, the congressman’s fellow Republicans remained unequivocally silent on the matter.
In a tweet Sunday, March 12, King suggested that Muslim children were hindering “our civilization” from being restored.
“[Geert] Wilders understands that culture and demographics are our destiny,” the contested congressman wrote. “We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.”
Wilders understands that culture and demographics are our destiny. We can't restore our civilization with somebody else's babies. https://t.co/4nxLipafWO
— Steve King (@SteveKingIA) March 12, 2017
King’s tweet was in response to a political cartoon depicting far-right Dutch politician Geert Wilder using his finger to plug a crumbling dam gushing with green ooze marked with stars and crescent moons — symbols commonly associated with the Muslim faith. The tweet was originally shared by an account called the Voice of Europe, which routinely tweets in support of far-right European candidates and platforms, according to the Huffington Post.
King’s off-putting remarks are consistent with ones he’s made in the past, including ones he made during a meeting with Wilder and Frauke Petry, chairwoman of the conservative anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany party last year, the news site reported. At the gathering, the congressman reportedly remarked that “Cultural suicide by demographic transformation must end.”
Even hours after King had posted the disparaging remarks, several Republicans still remained very much hush-hush. GOP leaders like State Rep. Pat Garofalo (R-Minn.), however, was one of few to come out and publicly denounce the congressman’s xenophobic remarks. Garofalo took to Twitter to Sunday, blasting King as “fake conservative” and a “fake Republican.”
Evan McMullin, who ran as an Independent in the 2016 presidential election, and Democrats like Rep. John Lewis (Ga.) also condemned King for his paean to white nationalism.
— Evan McMullin (@EvanMcMullin) March 12, 2017
This is bigoted & racist. It suggests there is one tradition & one appearance that all humanity should conform to. https://t.co/dC6dIy3rXn
— John Lewis (@repjohnlewis) March 13, 2017
King stood by his controversial comments during an appearance on CNN’s “New Day” with Chris Cuomo on Monday, March 13, asserting that he “meant exactly what he said” the first time around.
“We need to get our birth rates up or Europe will be entirely transformed within a half century or a little more,” the congressman said. “And, Geert Wilders knows that and that’s part of his campaign and part of his agenda.”
King also went on to say that he’d like to see “an America that’s just so homogeneous that we look a lot the same, from that perspective.”
The congressman’s outwardly anti-Muslim and racist rhetoric aren’t the only things that have critics worried. King has been a longtime advocate of putting a stop to birthright citizenship and has even pushed for a reinterpretation of the 14th Amendment so that the children of undocumented immigrants will no longer be granted the right to a U.S. passport, BBC News reported.
Naturally, King’s comments were met with a quick and ferocious response from Democrats across the political area, but it is the silence from the Republican majority that has leaders on both sides of the aisle concerned.