On Tuesday, the House passed a resolution in solidarity against white nationalism and white supremacy. The vote passed 424-1. Text in the resolution shows the House rebukes intolerance expressed through white nationalism and white Supremacy contrary to what the United States stands for. House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.), a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, proposed the measure.
Last Thursday, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) said, “White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive? Why did I sit in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and our civilization?”, and when commenting on the unprecedented numbers of women and minorities who just entered the House, went so far as to say, “You could look over there and think the Democratic Party is no country for white men.”
A handful of Senate Democrats vied to punish Steve King (R-Iowa). Democratic representatives, Bobby Rush of Illinois and Tim Ryan of Ohio, introduced measures to censure King. Rep. Clyburn himself thinks his bipartisan resolution falls short but he stands behind accommodating those uncomfortable with censure and accomplishing something rather than nothing. His proposal got the job done and the majority of representatives approved it.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) suggested he will revoke King’s House Committee assignments. King was stripped of his Agriculture and Judiciary Committee assignments on Monday night. Also on Monday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said in a statement people who support views like King’s are not for “American ideals and freedoms”.
King’s public statement, released after the condemnation he received for his New York Times interview, was made in a last-ditch attempt to eat his words and read he is a nationalist behind Western values, not White nationalism and White supremacy per se. During a speech on the House floor, he failed to persuade his audience that he genuinely rejects “[white nationalism and white supremacy] and the evil ideology they define.”
Steve King was the popular representative for the reddest district in America. Now, with him being barely re-elected in recent elections and the House overrun with Democrats, King is finally being reproached for his undignified, unchecked statements.
Numerous Republicans are not stopping with censure but announcing King should resign. Sen. Mitt Romney (Utah), House GOP Conference Chairwoman Liz Cheney (Wyo.), and Rep. Chris Stewart (Utah) are a few calling for King’s resignation. Romney told CNN, “I think he ought to step aside and I think Congress ought to make it very clear he has no place there.” Romney and Cheney said King should find work elsewhere.
And perhaps it’s time. Over the 16 years served in Congress, King sparked controversy with his nativist comments. He has said, “we can’t restore our civilization with other people’s babies”, “cultural suicide by demographic transformation must end”, and that illegal immigration is a “slow-motion holocaust.” For the good of Iowa and the Republican Party, King’s blatant bigotry needs to come to an end.
Featured image via Flickr/Gage Skidmore