When it comes to racially divisive public statements, few members of Congress are in Representative Steve King’s league, and Donald Trump surpasses every presidential candidate of the last half-century aside from George Wallace. Yet King strongly objects to critics who would portray him or Trump as racist. Buzzfeed’s Andrew Kaczynski reported yesterday on King’s interview with a Fort Dodge-based radio station:
“And now we’ve got the Congressional Black Caucus here in Washington, DC, today will be leading a protest and they have declared Donald Trump to be a racist. Now, why are they the authority on that?” the Iowa congressman said on KVFD AM1400 radio in Iowa. “I call them the self-segregating caucus, and so, they long ago moved away from the integration that we really need in this country.”
Click through to hear the audio clip and read more comments from King. He’s still bent out of shape over African-American journalist April Ryan confronting him in July about his assertion that white people had contributed "more to civilization" than had "other categories of people."
King is uncomfortable with black people calling attention to systemic racism, whether they be farmers who sued the U.S. Department of Agriculture over decades-long discrimination policies or a football player declining to stand during the national anthem. In a classic example of what psychologists call projection or scapegoating, King labels African Americans "divisive" if they want an important historical figure to be represented on currency, and considers public discussion of police misconduct grounded in racism to be "anti-white." Yet he considers it appropriate to display a Confederate flag on his desk in the halls of Congress.
Some Congressional Black Caucus members literally put their lives on the line to integrate public spaces in this country. Yet King would have us believe the caucus is a force of racial divisions because its members object to Trump’s manifold racist comments. King’s remarks to KVFD reminded me of a Gallup poll from the summer of 1963. During that critically important time for the civil rights movement, some 60 percent of respondents nationwide said "mass demonstrations by Negroes" are "more likely to hurt the Negro’s cause for racial equality." Talk about projecting blame and responsibility "towards a target person or group."
Final thought: King posturing as a supporter of "the integration that we really need" will be news to many of his constituents. Iowa’s fourth Congressional district includes many counties with large Latino populations. Those families are keeping schools and local businesses viable in numerous cities and towns. But that hasn’t stopped King from disparaging Spanish-speaking immigrants and their children as drug mules, or from trying to restrict birthright citizenship to exclude children of people who came to this country illegally.
UPDATE: Added below an image King tweeted on September 23, in which references to NFL player Colin Kaepernick and police officers were replaced with "King" and "Muslim" to highlight what King called "the contradictions of political Correctness."Continue Reading...