- Republican Rep. Steve King of Iowa compared the backlash he’s faced over racist remarks to the suffering of Jesus Christ.
- “I had to step down to the floor of the House of Representatives and look up at those 400-and-some accusers,” King said at an Iowa town hall on Tuesday. “I have a better insight into what He went through for us, partly because of that experience.”
- In a January interview King questioned why terms like white supremacy and white nationalism had “become offensive.”
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Republican Rep. Steve King of Iowa compared the condemnation he faced in Congress for comments on white nationalism to the suffering of Jesus Christ, The Des Moines Register reported.
“When I had to step down to the floor of the House of Representatives and look up at those 400-and-some accusers – you know, we’ve just passed through Easter and Christ’s Passion – and I have a better insight into what He went through for us, partly because of that experience,” King said during a town hall in Cherokee, Iowa, on Tuesday.
The incident the lawmaker referenced Tuesday started in January when King questioned why terms such as white supremacy and white nationalism had “become offensive” during an interview with the New York Times.
“White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization – how did that language become offensive?” King said, according to the Times. “Why did I sit in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and our civilization?”
After the story’s release, King argued that his comments had been taken out of context.
Subsequently, Republicans in the House stripped King of his committee assignments. House Democrats ultimately did not move forward with a resolution to censure King over fears it would be too divisive, but instead offered a resolution that condemned white nationalism.
After being expelled from Congress, censure is the most serious punishment a lawmaker can face in the House.
King in mid-January joined an overwhelming majority of lawmakers in voting for the resolution opposing white supremacy that was linked to his comments.
The Iowa lawmaker also released a statement in which he said he does not support white nationalism.
“I want to make one thing abundantly clear; I reject those labels and the evil ideology that they define. Further, I condemn anyone that supports this evil and bigoted ideology which saw in its ultimate expression the systematic murder of 6 million innocent Jewish lives,” King said, adding he is “simply a Nationalist.”
The incident was not the first time King has sparked controversy.
In June, for example, King quoted a tweet from a British neo-Nazi and espoused anti-immigrant views. Months before, in December 2017, he generated outrage when he tweeted that diversity is not America’s “strength.”