Rep. Steve King — a Republican member of Congress from Iowa — just used his verified Twitter account to amplify an avowed white supremacist and neo-Nazi from the United Kingdom.
While retweeting a tweet from self-described “Nazi sympathizer” Mark Collett, Rep. King added, “Europe is waking up…Will America… in time?”
Europe is waking up…Will America…in time? https://t.co/GqZ3E1lCyh
— Steve King (@SteveKingIA) June 12, 2018
Collett’s tweet was a screenshot of a February article from Breitbart London (warning: Clicking this link will give ad revenue to Breitbart) reporting on a poll from Italian firm Ixè in which 65 percent of Italians under age 35 opposed the mass immigration of foreigners to Italy.
King did not elaborate on his assertion that opposing immigration was akin to “waking up.” However, it’s unprecedented for a sitting member of Congress to use his verified social media platform to promote the messaging of someone who recently appeared on former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke’s podcast (warning: Clicking this link will give ad revenue to Duke) and who once said that AIDS was a “friendly disease” because “blacks, drug users and gays have it.”
However shocking Rep. King’s retweet may be, this isn’t the first time King has made blanket statements against immigrants and in favor of white supremacy. Last year, King made headlines after tweeting an endorsement of far-right European politician Geert Wilders, saying, “We can’t restore our civilization with someone else’s babies.” The Iowa Republican stood by his tweet, saying he wasn’t in favor of racial discrimination, but rather in favor of assimilating people of diverse backgrounds into anglo-American culture.
“I’m a champion for Western civilization,” King told CNN when asked about his comment. “It’s the culture, not the blood. If you could go anywhere in the world and adopt these little babies and put them into households that were already assimilated into America, those babies will grow up as American as any other baby.”
Civil rights movement veteran and Congressman John Lewis (D-Georgia) called King’s statement issued last year “bigoted and racist.” He has not yet responded to his colleague’s latest tweet, as of this writing.
This is bigoted & racist. It suggests there is one tradition & one appearance that all humanity should conform to. https://t.co/dC6dIy3rXn
— John Lewis (@repjohnlewis) March 13, 2017
King also caused a ruckus when, in 2016, he implied that no other ethnicity other than white people had positively contributed to Western civilization while responding to a comment from Esquire writer Charles Pierce that the Republican Party had become the party of “old white people.”
“This whole ‘white people’ business, though, does get a little tired, Charlie. I mean, 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 sub-group of people contribute to civilization?”
Rep. King’s office did not immediately return Grit Post’s requests for comment on what Native American tribe he belongs to.
Scott Alden is a freelance contributor covering national politics, education, and environmental issues. He is a proud Toledo University graduate, and lives in the suburbs of Detroit.