Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, did something stupid recently, but it wasn’t defending Western civilization; it was agreeing to do an interview with the New York Times.
The New York Times quoted him as saying, “White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive? Why did I sit in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and our civilization?”
After the article was published, the Times added the following paragraph to the story in an acknowledgment that its original reporting was disputed by its subject:
After this article was published Thursday, Mr. King issued a public statement calling himself a “nationalist” and defending his support of “western civilization’s values,” and said he was not an advocate for “white nationalism and white supremacy.” “I want to make one thing abundantly clear: I reject those labels and the evil ideology they define,” he wrote.
No doubt after Rep. King read the original article, he realized he had been stupid to talk to the Times. The article plainly was written with the agenda of destroying King. Before the questionable quote was used in the story, the “reporter” softened up his target by writing a 13-paragraph indictment of the Iowa congressman. I put the word “reporter” in quotes because the article in the Times was not a news story, but rather an op-ed full of anti-King judgments about “misleading data,” “demeaning remarks,” and “his willingness to use fear.” According to the “reporter,” Rep. King “wrote the book on white identity politics.”
So by the time the average reader got to the quote above, he or she was ready to believe anything about King. After all, he is an evil bastard, right?
Only the quote never quite made sense. Why would Mr. King have equated “white supremacist” and “Western civilization” when one of the bedrock principles of Western civilization is tolerance and diversity. Also when he referenced sitting in history classes, how could anyone think he was being taught about the merits of “white nationalism” or “white supremacy”? Rather it seemed to a judicious reader that somehow King’s entirely reasonable support of Western civilization was being carelessly commingled with two aberrant philosophies that have nothing to do with Western civilization. The quote just seemed, for lack of a better word, fishy.
The New York Times may not know it, but for many people, Western civilization is not a bad thing. Defending the liberties and intellectual advancements brought about by Western civilization does not make you a white supremacist. Yes, Western civilization was historically mostly, although by no means entirely, a “white” enterprise, but it was also an enterprise that had deep streams of influence from the Mideast and northern Africa in the form of both Judeo-Christian philosophy and Arabic philosophy, science and mathematics. It also celebrated and incorporated cultural contributions from across the globe.
Rep. King, in the paragraph amended to the original story, denounced white nationalism and white supremacy and the “evil ideology they define.” That being the case, we are left with a simple choice: Do we believe the biased and left-wing-agenda-driven New York Times? Or do we believe the conservative Republican being smeared by the aforesaid #FakeNewsTimes?
For the Republican leadership in Congress, the answer was clear: Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy rebuked King and stripped him of all his committee assignments even though King said he was misquoted by the Times in an effort to destroy him personally. There is no better explanation of why the base of the Republican Party does not trust the political leadership of the party. Unlike President Trump, most GOP politicians are surrender monkeys who never fight back and never stand fast against the liberal agenda of political correctness that has put free speech in a strait jacket.
King issued a statement in response to Rep. McCarthy, which I think is more likely to represent the truth than anything I read in the New York Times:
The truth is as follows:
One of my quotes in a New York Times story has been completely mischaracterized. Here’s the context I believe accurately reflects my statement.
In a 56 minute interview, we discussed the changing use of language in political discourse. We discussed the worn out label “racist” and my observation that other slanderous labels have been increasingly assigned to Conservatives by the Left, who injected into our current political dialog such terms as Nazi, Fascist, ‘White Nationalist, White Supremacist,— Western Civilization, how did THAT language become offensive? Why did I sit in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and our civilization?’…just to watch Western Civilization become a derogatory term in political discourse today. Clearly, I was only referencing Western Civilization classes. No one ever sat in a class listening to the merits of white nationalism and white supremacy.
When I used the word ‘THAT’ it was in reference ONLY to Western Civilization and NOT to any previously stated evil ideology ALL of which I have denounced. My record as a vocal advocate for Western Civilization is nearly as full as my record in defense of Freedom of Speech.
Conservatives had better stand up for Western civilization because it is apparent that liberals won’t — and for that matter neither will the Republican leadership. Retweet or share on Facebook if you agree!