Congressman Steve King’s racist history has finally started catching up with him.
Monday night, Congressional leadership removed King (R-Iowa) from committee assignments on the House’s Judiciary, Small Business and Agriculture committees. King blasted the ouster, calling it “a political decision that ignores the truth.”
This was in response to King’s comments lamenting the fact that terms like “white nationalist” and “white supremacist” are seen as offensive.
In a statement, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-California) said King’s comments were “beneath the dignity of the Party of Lincoln and the United States of America.
“His comments call into question whether he will treat all Americans equally, without regard for race and ethnicity. House Republicans are clear: We are all in this together, as fellow citizens equal before God and the law. As Congressman King’s fellow citizens, let us hope and pray earnestly that this action will lead to greater reflection and ultimately change on his part.”
What remains to be seen is why King’s racism only now is a matter the House Republican Steering Committee is concerned with. In fact, King was dismissive when asked if he was concerned about possibly losing his committee assignments given his history of not facing any serious consequences for his actions.
King’s racist history includes, but is not limited to an interview with a neo-Nazi publication after visiting Auschwitz, argued that nonwhite people haven’t contributed meaningfully to global civilization, said he wants a homogeneous America, and a litany of similar views, actions, and remarks.
Writing for the Washington Post, columnist Eugene Robinson likened the shock and outrage of Republicans to King’s racism to being shocked to find water being wet.
“Surely Republicans were aware of King’s toxic views, which he makes no attempt to hide. Why such an uproar now?” asked Robinson. “Perhaps King’s newly outraged critics were waiting for him to finally spell it out in language that even the ‘party of Trump’ cannot ignore. Which he did.”
House Democrats are considering censuring King, as well. But it isn’t clear if that would really matter. Even losing his committee assignments might be a minor blow. Because King doesn’t win re-election in spite of his vitriolic racism.
Katelyn Kivel is a contributing editor and senior legal reporter for Grit Post in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Follow her on Twitter @KatelynKivel.