Steve King thinks people in New Orleans ask for help too much, while people in Iowa 'take care of each other.'
Rep. Steve King (R-IA) is being slammed for another racist outburst — this time, attacking the predominantly black victims of Hurricane Katrina, a storm that killed over 1,800 Americans in 2005.
King tried to denigrate the people hardest hit by Katrina by claiming that they are less self-reliant than Iowans.
"Here’s what FEMA tells me: ‘We go to a place like New Orleans and everybody’s looking around saying, who’s gonna help me, who’s gonna help me?’" King said.
By contrast, he claimed, FEMA is "always gratified when they come and see Iowans take care of each other, so that’s a point of pride that spreads across the country."
The population of New Orleans, where the storm hit hardest, was 67 percent black at the time, and black people made up the majority of deaths from Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana.
Meanwhile, King represents a district in Iowa that is 95 percent white.
Louisiana leaders quickly slammed King for his racist comments, which invoked ugly stereotypes about black people and public assistance.
"When people show you who they are, believe them. Steve King is a white supremacist and I won’t stand for it," said Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-LA).
"These comments are disgusting and disheartening," said Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat. "When communities are affected by disasters, we come together to help each other, not tear each other down."
Eddie Rispone, the Republican gubernatorial candidate running against Edwards, said King's comments were "illogical and offensive."
King is infamous for making flagrantly racist comments.
Despite all of this, he remained a member in good standing of the Republican House caucus for many years. It wasn't until recently, when King went so far as to say he didn't understand why white supremacy was offensive, that Republicans made something of a show of condemning him by revoking his committee memberships.
Still, King continues to serve in Congress and was recently re-elected thanks in part to support from national Republicans.
It's clear that King can't help himself. Racism is central to his identity and his politics. And every day he has a national platform as a Republican congressman is another day he can advance white supremacy.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.