All the Messed Up Things Steve King Said About Latinos That Got Him Kicked Out


Image via AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File

By Yehudit Mam

June 3, 2020

Goodbye and good riddance to this Iowa legislator, a man who repeatedly said awful things about Latinos and Black people for more than 18 years.

Representative Steve King lost the Republican primary race in his state against opponent Randy Feenstra. Despite a history of unapologetic racist pronouncements, King had been elected to office 9 times and was in Congress for 18 years. 

King genuinely did not understand what was so offensive about white supremacy. “White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?,” he asked last year.

Even that was too much for Republicans, who stripped him of his House Committee seats. He was so toxic, that five Republican congressmen donated to his opponent’s war chest in this primary.

The people of Iowa finally showed him the door. 

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When we think of Iowa, we think of cornfields and plenty of güeros but, according to the Pew Research Center, Latinxs make 5% of the total population of Iowa — 171,000 residents and 67,000 eligible voters.

A medley of King’s greatest hits targeting Latinxs

Mr. King used his long legislative career to emit a long list of hateful, ignorant and incorrect statements, including:

  • During an appearance on Iowa Public Television, King said that when Univision’s Jorge Ramos had said “in Spanish to a group of Hispanics in Florida, ‘This isn’t their country, it’s our country’,” the Univision anchor hadn’t sent “a very good message to the rest of America,” particularly because, in his opinion, Ramos “was celebrating the day that Hispanics and African-Americans outnumber Caucasians in America.” 
  • In 2006, at a rally in Las Vegas, King called the deaths of Americans at the hands of undocumented immigrants “a slow-motion Holocaust.” He then went on to argue that illegal immigrants had killed many more Americans than the attacks since September 11. He falsely claimed that 25 Americans die daily because of undocumented immigrants.
  • Ever enterprising, he designed his own model for Trump’s border wall, which he demonstrated on the floor at the House of Representatives. It was to be 12 feet tall with electrified wire on top. And then he proceeded to compare undocumented immigrants to livestock: “We need to do a few other things on top of that wall, one of them being to put a little bit of wire on top here to provide a disincentive for people to climb over the top or put a ladder there. We could also electrify this wire… We do that with livestock all the time.”
  • In 2013, while explaining why he opposed DACA (the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program), he compared Dreamers, the young Latinx college students brought at a young age to the US by undocumented immigrant parents, to drug mules: “For everyone who’s a valedictorian, there’s another 100 out there that weigh 130 pounds and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they’re hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert.”
  • At the 2016 Republican National Convention, he claimed no “subgroup” contributed as much to civilization as white people. “I would ask you to go back through history and figure out where are these contributions have been made by these other categories of people you are talking about. Where did any other subgroup of people contribute more to civilization?”
  • And to top it all, in 2015 he bizarrely claimed on Twitter that he was “as Hispanic and Latino” as Julián Castro. He has never shown his chancla bonafide, so we need a fact check. 

As a white supremacist, King was genuinely concerned about “our stock, our country, our culture, our civilization,” and that “we need to have enough babies to replace ourselves.”  By “our” and “we,” mind you, he meant white people.

He feared that People of Color would become the demographic majority in the land: “The United States is moving towards the whites becoming a minority, a majority-minority within the country according to what their plan is.” By “their plan” he meant Blacks and Latinos.   

King was an equal opportunity racist, who never seemed to meet a nazi he didn’t like. He made a point of getting together with European leaders from the far-right and made racist remarks against Muslims, Jews, and non-white people at large.

His defeat is a ray of hope in these politically volatile times. Adiós para siempre, adiós.




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