Rep. Steve King (R-IA) is a powerful Iowa Republican congressman. He’s far to the right, but he’s a constant presence on cable news as a voice of the Republican party. He is one of President Donald J. Trump’s most ardent, vocal supporters. Don’t let anyone tell you that King is a fringe Republican. He’s not. He’s a canary in the coal mine, expressing the views and opinions of many, many Republicans and Trumpites. We would do well to listen carefully to what he says, whether about purging the government of leftists or this…
Last night, Rep. King Tweeted this:
Wilders understands that culture and demographics are our destiny. We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies. https://t.co/4nxLipafWO
— Steve King (@SteveKingIA) March 12, 2017
The Tweet refers to Geert Vilders, the Dutch right wing extremist, and head of the Freedom Party.
Think about this. Steve King, powerful member of Congress, agreeing (and later doubling down) on Wilder’s assertion. “We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.” What does that mean in the context of United States where we are all (except Native Americans) “somebody else’s babies?”
Does he mean white people? White Christian people? Who? We get a clue from his cheering section:
This morning, the face of the modern KKK Tweeted:
— David Duke (@DrDavidDuke) March 12, 2017
How did we get here? How did we, in less than three months–in 50 days–get here? How did we get to nearly half the Jewish Community Centers (JCC) in the U.S. receive bomb threats? How did we get to numerous mosques and Islamic centers being torched? How did we get to signs like this placed around the campuses of 21st Century universities (like this one placed around the campus of Texas State University at San Marco)?:
How? The white nationalists have been emboldened, empowered, and have crawled out from beneath the rocks under which they’ve been hiding for decades.
Why? Because the White House is now populated with people like Steve Bannon; the President of the United States gets his advice from InfoWars and Alex Jones; because the President of the United States refuses to acknowledge that a large body of his support (perhaps a very significant minority, to be charitable) agrees with that message. They love him. No, they revere him, Donald Trump, and see him as the way in. The way in to respectability, the way in to having a seat at the table, the way in to spreading their message of hate of the “other,” whether that “other” is a Muslim, a Jew, an immigrant from Central America, an IT worker from India. If a person doesn’t look like you (read: white Christian), then he or she is an “other,” and therefore part of the problem.
Yes, Trump has said that the threats against the JCCs is terrible. A “horrible” act. The vandalism of Jewish cemeteries and synagogues, just awful. (Never mind that talk is cheap, and he’s made no connection with the tone he sets, the wink-wink-nod-nod that the White Nationalists hear through the “dog whistles” of Trump’s denunciations). Yet, where are the Tweets? The righteous indignation at these terrorist attacks (because that’s what they are, you know–terrorist attacks)?
Where is the horror expressed by the administration at the attacks on Muslim houses of worship? On people shot and killed in bars because they “look” like Muslims? Where is the outcry from the President when Muhammad Ali’s son was twice detained in airports and questioned about his religion? Or when bands set to play at SXSW are barred because they’re not one of “us?”
While the media are distracted by trivialities, following up on Trump’s ridiculous claims that President Obama wiretapped Trump Tower to get at Trump, this country is in the grips of a much more dangerous crisis as we slip through the looking-glass and into a mindset where Breitbart and Alex Jones are the distinguished media and the New York Times is Enemy of the State. Where Steve Bannon, who wants to tear this country apart and remake it as a White Christian nation is the most powerful man in the United States and otherwise sane legislators put party ahead of country, their own power and enrichment ahead of the ideals that have made this country truly exceptional.
Fifty days. And we have more than 1400 to go. And I shudder to think where we will be long before then.
I invite you to follow my Tweets and re-Tweets through the day @B_Barnett. I also invite you to check out my latest novel, The Apothecary’s Curse–a story of greed and consequences set in the midst of a historical fantasy.