Rep. Steve King (R-IA) has a lot of thoughts about race in America, as he demonstrated in an interview Wednesday that touched on the protests in Ferguson, Mo., the “sin” committed by the likes of Rev. Al Sharpton and the “race card” played by the Congressional Black Caucus.
The conversation started during an interview with Iowa radio host Jan Mickelson, who observed that it’s important to have “courage just to say what you see, and you can’t worry about being called a racist if you’re just saying what you see.”
King agreed, and took the opportunity to address the unrest that’s engulfed the St. Louis suburb since the the fatal police shooting of unarmed black 18-year-old Michael Brown.
Well, and that’s something, seems to be I’m constantly in the middle of all of that. But the reason that I do step up and say these things, Jan, is because I think first of all we’re a nation that is partially, at least our culture and civilization was built on a number of things but it was certainly built on reason and our ability to reason. And it emerged through our culture and civilization through the Greeks all across western Europe here to this continent. And if we had not developed a foundational civilization that’s rooted in our faith and in our work ethic, in our morality and in our ability to reason we couldn’t have ever developed science and technology, we couldn’t have had a rational basis to do the things that we do. And so if this society is going to reject reason, and move towards an irrational society — by the way, it’s irrational what’s happening down in Ferguson, Mo. It’s irrational. Even if their allegation is true, and the cop is innocent until proven guilty.
Later in the interview, King continued to defend Darren Wilson, the white officer who killed Brown earlier this month, while denouncing protestors who have committed vandalism in Ferguson.
But I will say this: he is innocent until proven guilty. But what’s happening is the community, the people that are doing the looting down in Ferguson, Missouri have concluded that he is guilty or else they concluded that it’s a good excuse to do what they’re doing. And so even if the officer is guilty of what the governor implies he may be guilty of, then there’s no reason to punish the community. But they’re burning the community, they’re looting the businesses in the community and they’re rioting, they’re punishing their own community for something that they think, or at least allege, that a police officer did inside their community. That is irrational and it should not happen in this country and it doesn’t happen with rational people.
According to King, that’s just the type of environment that “attracts anarchists” and “people like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson Jr. (sic), who have calculated that they can monetize the incident.”
King agreed with Mickelson’s characterization of the civil rights activists as “racial shysters” and highlighted Sharpton’s support of Tawana Brawley, who falsely claimed that she was raped by a group of white men in the 1980s. Sharpton and his ilk, King asserted, are guilty of “sin.”
Well, they are. They’re race hustlers. You know, Tawana Brawley, the one who falsely accused rape that Al Sharpton made the beginnings of his career off of, he’s never apologized for that. All the violence that was perpetrated in the name of a rape that never existed. So, when people pit people against each other on the basis of race, Jan, that is a sin to do that. It costs lives in this country and it causes social unrest and it keeps this country from healing together.
King wasn’t done there, arguing that the race hustling extends beyond Sharpton. As King sees it, Rep. Lacy Clay (D-MO), the Congressional Black Caucus, President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder have all done their part to create racial divisions.
I’ve watched them pit us against each other for a long time. And by the way, it also should be said that someone like Lacy Clay, who’s a member of the Congressional Black Caucus — there is no ‘Congressional White Caucus.’ It is a self-segregated caucus and it is a caucus that they drive an agenda that’s based on race. And they’re always looking to place the race card. They’re always looking to divide people down that line. And I have friends in that caucus. I get along with them personally, but their agenda is to play the race card. And we have a President who had a perfect opportunity to eliminate a lot of this friction in this country, and instead, he and his attorney general have been in a place where they’ve created friction rather than eliminated it.
Listen to the interview here. The portion on Ferguson and Sharpton begins around the 53-minute mark.