Rep. Steve King stuns panel with question about whites, ‘sub-groups’
CLEVELAND – An Iowa congressman’s statements about contributions to civilization sparked a heated debate on air Monday, the first day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.
The comments came during an MSNBC panel after Esquire writer Charles Pierce predicted that this would be the last election year in which “old white people” would command the attention of the Republican Party.
“That hall is wired,” Pierce said. “That hall is wired by loud, unhappy, dissatisfied white people.”
Rep. King responded, “This ‘old white people’ business does get a little tired, Charlie,” King said. “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 subgroup of people contribute more to civilization?”
“Than white people?” asks MSNBC’s Chris Hayes.
“Than, than Western civilization itself,” King replied. “It’s rooted in Western Europe, Eastern Europe and the United States of America and every place where the footprint of Christianity settled the world. That’s all of Western civilization.”
“What about Asia? What about Africa?” asks reporter April Ryan, who is black.
With the panelists talking over each other in an attempt to question King, Hayes says, “We are not going to argue the history of civilization.”
“Let’s argue the history of this country, okay?” Ryan says.