Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) couldn’t tell a resident of his home state whether he believed white societies are better than others because he said the question was too “hypothetical.”
Mary Lavelle, 63, tried to test the congressman’s views on white supremacy at a town hall on Tuesday in Algona, an Iowa town of around 5,000, The New York Times reported.
“Do you think a white society is superior to a nonwhite society?” Lavelle asked.
“I don’t have an answer for that,” King replied. “That’s so hypothetical.”
“I’ll say this, America is not a white society — it has never been a completely white society. We came here and joined the Native Americans, who were here in many times numbers greater than ours,” he said.
Lavelle said she asked the question because she was worried King’s language mirrored that used in a manifesto posted by the man charged with gunning down at least 50 people at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, last week.
King continued: “I’ve long said that a baby can be lifted out of a cradle anywhere in the world and brought into any home in America, whatever the color of the folks in that household, and they can be raised to be American as any other. And I believe that every one of us, every one of us, is created in God’s image.”
King sparked furor in January when, in an interview with The New York Times, he questioned why white nationalism and white supremacy were bad. He later issued a statement decrying the “evil ideology” of white nationalism and white supremacy. Nevertheless, Republican House leaders stripped him of all his committee assignments.
This week, King was called on to explain how a violent meme about the polarization of American politics ended up on his public Facebook page.
“Folks keep talking about another civil war,” reads text over an image of red and blue figures, each composed of the outlines of states that swing right or left. “One side has about 8 trillion bullets, while the other side doesn’t know which bathroom to use,” the text continued.
King told an Iowa newspaper last month he did not believe he had anything to apologize for and would seek re-election for a tenth term.