Just in case you weren’t aware, we can’t restore our civilization with someone else’s babies. Well, at least according to Rep. Steve King ‘s (R – Iowa) Twitter. Feeling a bit bewildered? Scratching your head (or shaking it)? He told CNN’s “New Day” that “Well, of course I meant exactly what I said”. You know that distraught-looking emoji, the one that looks like it’s saying “ohhhhhh my gosh”? Plaster that across the faces of conservative Republicans right now. Now the scene is set.
King has been in the forefront as a figure opposing illegal immigration, so his viewpoints should not come as a surprise. Here is the controversial commentary in full: “You cannot rebuild your civilization with somebody else’s babies. You’ve got to keep your birth rate up, and that you need to teach your children your values. In doing so, you can grow your population, you can strengthen your culture, and you can strengthen your way of life.” But wait, there’s more. King also told CNN that “If you go down the road a few generations, or maybe centuries, with the inter-marriage, I’d like to see an America that is just so homogenous that we look a lot the same.”
You can make your own inferences from those comments and I can go on for days about them, but I want to give you a little bit of comic relief before we burst into flames of rage. Late night host Seth Meyers had some words for the congressmen this week on his “A Closer Look” segment. Among them were the prophetic saviorhood of Beyoncé’s twins, but he also delivered a punchline that was quite telling. Directed at the politician, Meyers asked “Steve King, what are you so worried about? Your district is 96 percent white. You’re basically the manager of the world’s largest Williams-Sonoma. Iowa’s 4th District couldn’t be any whiter if you carpet-bombed it with Crest Whitestrips.”
Meyers has a point. Iowa is over 90 percent white, with a foreign-born population just under 5 percent and a Hispanic population close to 6 percent. The largest group of ancestry is German, followed by Irish, English, American, and Norwegian. King himself is an Iowan with Irish, German, Welsh, and American Colonial roots.
During his conversation with CNN after the tweet, King voiced his concern over the decline of “American culture”, that he wished for better immigrant assimilation, and that he is “a champion for Western civilization”. He said that the differences in the way that people contribute to American society are in “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.”
America is many different things to many different people, but in the eyes of this man, America is white. There is no sugar-coating this. Ironically, he comes from an ancestral background that faced the very same you-are-not-welcome-here separatist attitude that he is exuding, stemming from the passage of the immigration-restricting Johnson-Reed Act in 1924. King is ancestrally a white ethnic, and he has the audacity to talk about an American culture that he historically is not even considered to be a part of. There is a 2016 Washington Post article highlighting historians who challenge King’s misguided notions about whites and subgroups that is worth reading.
King comes from Iowa. He is 67 years old. His ideology is naturally going to be warped because that is the old-time “America” he comes from. The first step to stopping a growing family of hate: stop getting the mother pregnant.