Steve King asked if white society is superior: 'I don't have an answer for that'

Steve King asked if white society is superior: 'I don't have an answer for that'
© Getty Images

Rep. Steve KingSteven (Steve) Arnold KingWhy the GOP march of mad hatters poses a threat to our Democracy MSNBC's Donny Deutsch: 'Pathetic' Republicans who stormed closed hearing are 'boring, nerdy-looking white guys' Overnight Defense: Trump lifts sanctions on Turkey | 'Small number' of troops to remain by Syrian oil fields | Defense official's impeachment testimony delayed five hours after Republicans storm secure room MORE (R-Iowa) on Tuesday refused to say whether he thinks white societies are superior to others when questioned by a woman during a town hall event in his state.

The Iowa Republican, who has faced controversy and backlash from his own party over remarks in the past about race, refused to take a position when questioned by a woman at a town hall event about whether a "white society" was "superior" to others.


“Do you think a white society is superior to a nonwhite society?” Mary Lavelle asked the congressman, according to The New York Times.

“I don’t have an answer for that. That’s so hypothetical,” King reportedly responded. “I’ll say this, America is not a white society — it has never been a completely white society. We came here and joined the Native Americans.”

“I’ve long said that a baby can be lifted out of a cradle anywhere in the world and brought into any home in America, whatever the color of the folks in that household, and they can be raised to be American as any other," he continued, according to the Times. "And I believe that every one of us, every one of us, is created in God’s image.”

A spokesman for King did not immediately return a request for comment on the exchange.

Lavelle told the Times that she asked the question because of King's history of remarks criticizing "diversity" and claiming that such a concept was not a "strength" for the United States.

Lavelle pointed to the manifesto written by the accused shooter in the Christchurch, New Zealand, mosque attacks last week, saying that some of the language in it mirrored language King has used in the past, prompting newfound concern about the congressman's rhetoric.

The town hall came just a day after King faced backlash on social media for a Facebook post that appeared to suggest the possibility of a civil war between red and blue states.

“Folks keep talking about another civil war; one side has about 8 trillion bullets while the other side doesn’t know which bathroom to use,” the post, which was shared by King's Facebook page, read.

When pressed by a reporter at the town hall about the post, King said that he “wasn’t aware” that the image had been published on his Facebook page the night before and said he does not personally manage that page.

“I wish it had never gone up,” he said.

King previously was stripped of his committee assignments after questioning in January why the terms "white supremacist" and "white nationalist" were offensive.

“White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?” King asked in an interview with The New York Times earlier this year. “Why did I sit in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and our civilization?”