An appearance by Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) on MSNBC led to heated discussion when King appeared to question the historical contributions of non-white people.
The Washington Post reported that MSNBC host Chris Hayes led a discussion about presumptive Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's history of making racially charged comments.
King said Trump's behavior in that regard has changed, but political blogger for Esquire Charles Pierce disagreed.
"If you're really optimistic, you can say that this is the last time that old white people will command the Republican Party's attention, its platform, its public face," Pierce said. "That hall is wired," he continued. "That hall is wired by loud, unhappy, dissatisfied white people."
"This 'old white people' business does get a little tired, Charlie," King said. "I'd ask you to go back through history and figure out, where are these contributions that have been made by these other categories of people that you're talking about, where did any other subgroup of people contribute more to civilization?"
"Than white people?" Hayes asked, appearing stunned.
"Than, than Western civilization itself," King replied. "It's rooted in Western Europe, Eastern Europe and the United States of America and every place where the footprint of Christianity settled the world. That's all of Western civilization."
White House correspondent April Ryan offered a question as a rebuttal: “What about Africa? What about Asia?”
"We're not going to argue the history of Western civilization," Hayes said.
"Let's argue the history of this country," Ryan said.
"Let me note for the record that if you're looking at the ledger of Western civilization, for every flourishing democracy, you have Hitler and Stalin as well," Hayes said.
In a series of tweets after the interview, Hayes conceded that he should have let Ryan continue speaking:
According to The Washington Post, this tone is not new for King.
He drew criticism for having a Confederate flag on his desk, seen during local news coverage of a bill he introduced to Congress. He has pushed against Harriet Tubman's image being on the $20 bill, according to Politico. "It's not about Harriet Tubman, it's about keeping the picture on the $20," King said. "Why would you want to change that? I am a conservative, I like to keep what we have."
Thank you for reading the Dayton Daily News and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.
Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Dayton Daily News. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.