After a humiliating, self-inflicted primary defeat earlier this month, Congressman Steve King has apparently decided to spend his final, committee-free months in office doing what he does best: sharing his bizarre and often incoherent views on race.
On Tuesday, King likened Black Lives Matter protesters tearing down statues of racist historical figures to Kristallnacht, the pogrom carried out against Jews by Nazi stormtroopers in 1938. He included an apparent reference to a suggestion from celebrity activist and alleged fraudster Shaun King, who suggested Monday that “statues of the white European they claim is Jesus should also come down” because they “are a form of white supremacy.”
“BLM calls for ‘Kristallnacht’ attack on Christians, statues of Jesus down & all murals & stained glass windows of white Jesus..down because they are ‘white supremacy’ and ‘created as tools of oppression’ & ‘racist propaganda,’” King tweeted. “This is how it starts folks.”
The previous day, King decried the tearing down of statues depicting figures who either were slaveowners or brutalized Indigenous people. “Statues of Jefferson Davis, Gen. Lee, Columbus, Washington, Jefferson, Francis Scott Key, Gen. Grant and Saint Junipero Serra all torn down while a statue of Lenin is unveiled in Europe,” he tweeted. “This IS a war on Western Civilization. Lincoln is likely next:-((.”
Since his primary loss, King’s trolling Facebook campaign page has finally fallen silent, but the outgoing congressman has repeatedly taken aim at the Black Lives Matter movement on Twitter. About a week after the vote, he shared a C-SPAN clip from a congressional hearing featuring Dan Bongino, a conspiracy peddler and frequent InfoWars guest who spoke in opposition to activists’ calls to defund the police.
Yesterday, the congressman smeared Black Lives Matter as a “self professed Marxist” movement that has been “granted legitimacy even though they are partners in crime with terrorist organization #antifa. (Antifa is not actually an organization at all but a decentralized organizing strategy for anti-fascist movements.) In the tweet, he linked to an article criticizing Republican Governor Kim Reynolds for meeting with Black Lives Matter protesters in Des Moines, which was published by King supporter Jacob Hall on The Iowa Standard — his right-wing news site and press release mill boasting the ironic slogan “news with a higher standard in mind.”
King is also fond of Candace Owens, a far-right commentator and con artist whom some conservatives enjoy citing as a token figure because she is Black and routinely dismissive of racism. “The Incandescent @RealCandaceO streamed from the head and heart of God’s gift to humanity,” King tweeted four days after the primary, sharing an 18-minute video in which Owens criticizes George Floyd, whose killing in late May by a Minneapolis police officer sparked worldwide protests. “For whatever reason, it has become fashionable over the last five or six years to turn criminals into heroes overnight,” she says. Six days later, King shared a tweet from Owens calling Black Lives Matter “a terrorist group funded by white Democrats.”
In a further effort to appear non-racist, King has also drawn attention to a bill he introduced in 2002 as a state senator to designate a Juneteenth National Freedom Day recognizing the emancipation of slaves — a goal of the Black Lives Matter movement. Quoting John Adams, he added, “Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.”