“White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?” U.S. Rep. Steve King
Pardon my above icon, but I wanted to say something about Iowa Representative Steve King to not allow his shameful ideas to get lost in the shadows. While his recent transparency about his alt-right beliefs are not surprising, his latest soiree into his deeply held beliefs were too egregious not to point out. The man is beyond despising verging on loathsome. Yet, he feels emboldened enough to make the above statement as if it is a perfectly natural thing to ask even in polite company. What is surprising is that the Republicans finally did something to reel him in by stripping him of his committee memberships. Here a Washington Post clip that lays out his behavior in clear, unequivocal detail; also, here is a timeline of his more damning statements. .
King is a nine term U. S. representative from Iowa and has a history of publicly making claims dating back to 2002 about the supremacy of white culture over others including those who happen to want to come to this country simply to have the chance for a better life for themselves and their families. In the above Post video you will hear House Minority Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) opining about how King does not represent the beliefs of the Republican Party and that he will be stripped of his committee assignments which is all well and good . . . except for one thing. It’s a lie.
The Republican Party has become the party of white supremacy and has done little to nothing to dissuade the American public otherwise. Now, Americans are finding out that House of Representative member, Crazy Louie Gohmert, crawled out from under his East Texas rock to support King and his racists beliefs. Gohmert who has a long list of racist and bigoted remarks of his own had this to say about King’s caustic statement,
“We have the only country that I’m aware of that would shed its most valuable treasure —American blood — for freedom, not for hegemony, just for freedom,” Gohmert said. “There’s never been a group that’s been more philanthropic than American citizens. That was a fair question — when did Western civilization become a negative?” Louie G
Crazy Louie doesn’t seem to have the capacity, or chooses not to understand, that the way Western Civilization is used by King is referring to the “white” Western Civilization, not all Americans. In his defense, Crazy Louie is only doing what he normally does by replying without regard to the substance of the issue. As a dyed-in-the-wool Tea Party member, his only avenue of expression is the lowest common denominator of any issue. In his case and King’s, there go to stance is to support aging white voters who make up the majority of their base.
Of course, this view is shared by the leader of their party, Donald Trump. Trump’s lies, innuendos, and bigoted statements are legend in the New York world of real estate and the national Republican Party. Trump has single handed put racism and bigotry at the forefront of his party and base like no one before him. From calling white supremacists “fine people” to denigrating third-world countries as “shit holes” to treating immigrant children at the Texas border like animals, Trump has lowered the bar on race like no one before him. He is the face of both the white supremacists of America and the intolerant Republican Party all in one tidy package for the world to see.
Anyone who grew up in the South during the 1950s and 1960s knows that racists and bigots are as hard to stamp out as cockroaches on a meth/bad acid high. They lack the insensate ability to see the plight of others as an extension of their own actions. When all is said and done, race is a creation of culture, not a natural human reaction to the differences of skin color or place of origin. Simply put, racists are racists by choice not by a plan of some wacked out god or inter species rivalries. People have to make a conscious choice to treat others with disdain and rancor because they are different from one’s own neighbors.
The real threat that people like King, Crazy Louie, and Trump pose is legitimizing racism and bigotry for others. We already see the results of these sown seeds of discord in the way young people are reacting to others not like themselves. This weekend’s spectacle of a group of young white men sporting Make America Great Again gimme’ hats from Covington Catholic School in Kentucky, and the way they dealt with Omaha Nation elder and Vietnam War veteran Nathan Phillips was heartbreaking to watch and see unfold. Phillips was part of the American Indian Indigenous March that was finishing up their part of the festivities.
The parents and chaperones are making excuses for the way the young boys acted, and granted, maybe there were extenuating circumstances involving a third group of hecklers, but the smirk and laughter directed by the young boys toward Phillips told a different story. No one can excuse the disrespect and uncouth actions of the group as a whole. Father Edward Beck, a CNN Religion Commentator, stated,
“It wasn’t a time to thrust both cheeks, smirking, into the face of that elder. So, yes, where were the chaperones? This situation was escalating. you had the group that you mentioned with racial slurs. You then had kids behind them seemingly mocking this elder and smirking and laughing at him,” he said. “I don’t understand how the chaperones don’t step in and say, first of all, boys, get to the bus, to defuse the situation. that’s why a chaperone is there,” he said. CNN
To be honest, this incident was an anomaly that was a product of several different circumstances revolving into a perfect storm of hate speech and actions of a few bad apples. It was an act of young boys so full of themselves they saw taunting someone different as sport and a chance to have a good time at the expense of someone no like them. The fact that there was a separate group apart from the young boys and the American Indian marchers is irrelevant in light of the multiple videos that show the encounter and how the incident unfolded. Trump’s response? Here is a tweet from late yesterday,
Looking like Nick Sandman & Covington Catholic students were treated unfairly with early judgements (sic) proving out to be false – smeared by media. Not good, but making big comeback! “New footage shows that media was wrong about teen’s encounter with Native American” @TuckerCarlson
Not surprisingly, he gets it wrong and tries to make it into a “win” for himself and his team. No, Trump, the media didn’t get it wrong. The videos were taken by people on site that tells the story of what happened. Sandman has been representing himself as the victim of the event and calling foul that his actions were taken for what they were, race baiting. It is doubtful that anything will come of this event other than negative exposure on all sides. The real lesson that intolerance and hatred should not be condoned or allowed to stand will be swept away by Trump and his minions who see what they want to see and nothing more.
Does it make America Great Again? I don’t think so.