National | Politics

Republican who goes against tribes credits 'civilization' to White people

Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa). Photo from Facebook

A Republican member of Congress who repeatedly votes against tribal interests voiced some interesting views on "civilization."

During an appearance on MSNBC on Monday, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) questioned whether non-Whites have contributed to civilization as we know it. He was responding to complaints that the Republican National Convention represented the frustrations of a group losing its power in the United States.

“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?" King said from the convention site in Cleveland, Ohio. "Where did any other subgroup of people contribute more to civilization?”

In 2010, King voted against the Tribal Law and Order Act. When Native women protested outside his office in Iowa, he complained that they didn't know what "they're talking about" even after he repeatedly failed to explain his position on a bill that strengthened law enforcement in Indian Country.

In 2013, King was one of 138 Republicans in the House who voted against the Violence Against Women Act. The historic law recognizes tribal authority over non-Indian offenders.

King's district includes trust lands owned by the Winnebago Tribe, the Omaha Tribe and the Ponca Tribe. Native Americans make up about 0.5 percent of the district's population.

Get the Story:
Steve King creates uproar questioning contributions of non-white people (The Des Moines Register 7/19)
What, Congressman Steve King Asks, Have Nonwhites Done for Civilization? (The New York Times 7/19)
GOP Rep. Steve King asks how minorities gave to civilization (AP 7/19)
What Steve King’s ‘sub groups’ musing says about the party of Donald Trump (The Washington Post 7/19)
Rep. Steve King wonders what ‘sub-groups’ besides whites made contributions to civilization (The Washington Post 7/19)