Say what? Congressman whitewashes ‘sub-groups’ out of history

U.S. Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa)

U.S. Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa)

Rep. Steve King owes MSNBC’s Chris Hayes a huge debt for switching tracks during a live conversation about race before it could go even further off the rails Monday.

King was taking part in a panel discussing the overabundance of white people at the top of the Republican party, of which King is a member, representing his overwhelmingly white district in Iowa.

“If you’re really optimistic,” said Esquire’s Charles Pierce — who is white — “you can say that this is the last time that old white people will command the Republican party’s attention, its platform, its public face,”

The point, King told the host, was that in terms of racial balance, things are as they should be.

“This ‘old white people’ business does get a little tired, Charlie,” King said. “I’d ask you to go back through history and figure out where these contributions that have been made by these categories of people that you’re talking about—where did any other sub-group of people contribute more to civilization?”

“Than white people?” asked Hayes, clearly stunned by the bold-faced remark.

“Than, than Western civilization itself,” King responded. “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.”

 

Hayes opted to cut off the conversation: “We’re not going to argue the history of Western civilization. Let me note for the record that if you’re looking at the ledger of Western civilization, for every flourishing democracy, you have Hitler and Stalin as well.”

But later he tweeted his regrets:

Hayes closed the book on the matter but the rest of Twitter wasn’t even close to turning the page.

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