Rep. Steve King: How Did ‘White Supremacist’ Become an Offensive Term?

In a Thursday interview with The New York Times, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) decried the demonization of the term “white supremacist,” and wondered why it had become deemed to be offensive in the first place. King first claimed that he supported immigrants who came to America legally and assimilated into the culture—because, he said, maintaining a white European “culture of America” is more important than maintaining racial homogeneity. “White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization—how did that language become offensive?” King added. “Why did I sit in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and our civilization?”

King’s extremist ideology has ostracized him from some in the Republican Party, but has been embraced by President Trump and is reflected in his agenda. Early on in Trump’s term, the president invited King to the Oval Office, where he boasted of having raised more money for the congressman’s campaigns than anyone else, King recalled in an interview with the Times. “Yes, Mr. President,” King replied. “But I market-tested your immigration policy for 14 years, and that ought to be worth something.”