This Tuesday, as even Republicans in Congress were denouncing their colleague Steve King’s comments about white supremacy, an NBC News memo leaked instructing reporters to “avoid characterizing [King’s] remarks as racist.” The media organization eventually had to backtrack and admit, “It is fair to characterize King’s comments as ‘racist,’ and point out that he has a history of racist comments.”
“This is a big deal,” The Daily Show host Trevor Noah said Tuesday night. “The Republican Party has punished one of its own for making racist comments.” And while King’s declaration that there’s nothing “offensive” about being a white supremacist “feels like a pretty racist thing to say,” Noah noted that the congressman is fighting back, claiming that his words were somehow taken out of context.
“I want to make one thing abundantly clear,” King said on the floor of the House this week. “I reject those labels and the evil ideology that they define.”
“So as it stands, Steve King said a thing that’s really racist,” Noah added. “But he claims that he isn’t racist at all. So which is it? Is he racist or not?”
To answer that question, the host took a trip back in time as the “racism detective,” meticulously examining various statements King has made in the past, from his infamous 2013 comments about immigrants with “calves the size of cantaloupes” to his 2017 prescription that you “cannot rebuild your civilization with someone else’s babies.”
After completing his thorough investigation, Noah summed up the evidence this way: “On the one hand, we have Steve King being racist towards Mexicans, Muslims and the entire non-white world. But on the other hand he says he’s not racist!”
“I guess it’ll have to remain a mystery,” he jokingly concluded.