Congressman Steve King really had some explaining to do. The Iowa representative found himself in a sticky situation after he made some controversial comments about race during the MSNBC coverage of the Republican National Convention.
It all started when Charlie Pierce discussed how the GOP typically consists of “old white people,” and this year’s RNC proves it. This is when King decided to open his mouth without allowing his brain to tell him, “No Steve, don’t do it!”
“This ‘old, white people’ business does get a little tired, Charlie” King started, before he went in for the kill. “I’d ask you to go back through history and figure out, where are these contributions that have been made by these other categories of people that you’re talking about — where did any other subgroup of people contribute more to civilization?”
“Than white people?” Chris Hayes timidly followed up, knowing all too well that this was about to erupt.
“Than, than Western civilization itself," King replied. "It's rooted in Western Europe, Eastern Europe and the United States of America and every place where the footprint of Christianity settled the world. That's all of Western civilization.”
And then Charlie Pierce and the only Black panelist, April Ryan, started to foam at the mouth. They went back and forth with King, who remained smiling even though his smile read more like a sad, lost, child who knew that he was about to receive a whoopin’ from his parents yet remains in denial.
Eventually Hayes cut the fight short and went to a break, although he really, really should have let April tear into that white supremacy idea that was just dropped on the table.
Yes his comment was misguided, arrogant and offensive, but are we at all surprised? I mean this happened on night one of a convention where you could count the Black people in attendance on one hand (and one of them was April Ryan).
Since the video came out, King has “clarified” his remarks, although he really just dug his grave a little deeper. In an interview with ABC News, King said, “What I really said was 'Western civilization' and when you describe Western civilization that can mean much of Western civilization happens to be Caucasians. But we should not apologize for our culture or our civilization.”
He then probably realized that his statement still talked too much about white people so he continued to say, “The contributions that were made by Western civilization itself, and by Americans, by Americans of all races, stand far above the rest of the world. The Western civilization and the American civilization are a superior culture.”
You hear that? That’s the sound non-white people everywhere going "mmhmm." Let’s just let this be a lesson to all. The GOP is a group of mainly old, white men, but just don’t tell them that, or else they’ll prove exactly how old and white it is.
Check out the video below and please let us know what you think of Rep. Steve King.