Rep. Steve King (R-IA) earlier this week claimed that treating all cultures as “equal” would be “devaluing the contributions” of America’s Founding Fathers.
King held a town hall Tuesday in Fort Dodge, Iowa, during which he was asked about his racist rhetoric around white nationalism. A constituent identified by the Des Moines Register as Christina Russell told the congressman that she took it personally when he “criminalized Mexican culture.”
“Dehumanizing someone’s culture is not a joke,” Russell told King. “I just want to clarify that for you. Dehumanizing the Mexican culture is not a joke.”
In response, King insisted that he “doesn’t deal in race,” only “culture.”
“If we presume that every culture is equal and has an equal amount to contribute to our civilization, then we’re devaluing the contributions of the people that laid the foundation for America and that’s our Founding Fathers,” King said.
The congressman claimed that “If there are new ideas coming in from other cultures, we can welcome them but we should debate them as to whether they are a plus and enhance contribute to the civilization that we are.”
“It’s not about race, it’s never been about race,” King said. “It is about culture.”
This incident adds to King’s many racist outbursts and flirtations with white nationalism. He questioned the offensiveness of “white nationalism” during a New York Times interview in January, claimed that “you can’t rebuild your civilization with somebody else’s babies” and has retweeted neo-Nazis several times.
At one point during the town hall on Tuesday, King defended his “white nationalism” remark to the New York Times (for which House GOP leadership stripped him of his committee assignments) and claimed that the left has “weaponized” that term.
King lamented that losing his committee spots was one of the “significant injustices that’s ever taken place in Congress.”
A video of the town hall can be found on King’s Facebook page here (King’s comments on his Times interview begin at around the 21:00 timestamp; his comments about “culture” begin at the 34:00 timestamp).