Rep. Steve King declared Tuesday that not every culture is equal and to presume such devalues the groundwork of America’s Founding Fathers.
Speaking at a town hall meeting in Fort Dodge, Iowa, the controversial Republican argued with Christina Russell, a constituent, who accused him of “making fun of brown people” on social media and “dehumanizing the Mexican culture.”
Mr. King answered, “The question is really an allegation and that’s something we have to deal with in this society. People that know me know that I don’t deal in race, I do care about culture and I care about civilizations and I pay a big attention to history.”
“You’re criminalizing the Mexican culture!” Ms. Russell interjected. “I take that personally.”
“Stop. You’re done,” Mr. King told the woman. “Are you going to be quiet now? You had your say.”
The congressman continued, “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.
“They laid the foundation for the greatest nation the world has ever seen, and we need to hang onto those principles and restore them and refurbish the pillars of American exceptionalism. If we fail to do so, then we fail the destiny of our country,” Mr. King said. “If there are new ideas that come in from other cultures, we can welcome them, but we should debate them as to whether they are a plus and enhance and contribute to the civilization that we are.
“That’s the way I look at this,” he added. “It’s not about race, it’s never been about race. It is about culture. And I’ve said that many, many, many times.”
Mr. King has repeatedly sparked backlash for his comments about Western civilization, most recently in January when he spoke about white nationalism during an interview with The New York Times.
“White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization how did that language become offensive?” the congressman said at the time.
The comments drew bipartisan condemnation and the Republican Steering Committee subsequently removed him from all House committee assignments.
Mr. King has maintained that he’s not racist and said his comments in the interview were misinterpreted.
On Tuesday, the congressman claimed that “the left has weaponized” the term “white nationalism” since the election of President Trump, and that he plans to fight to regain his committee assignments once the “political lynch mob” cools down.
“This is one of the most significant injustices that has ever taken place in Congress,” he said. “I don’t think any member of Congress has ever been targeted by social media, mainstream media, and all those outlets like I have been targeted. And once it started to roll it just turned into a snowball — it was a political lynch mob.”
“I’ve been Mr. Nice Guy about this all along, letting the cooler heads take over and now it looks like pretty soon I’m going to start pushing. And when I do I won’t stop,” he said.