No, Trump Didn’t Condemn Steve King’s White Supremacist Rhetoric

The White House doesn’t seem to understand that not sharing a person’s racist rhetoric is not the same as calling it out. There’s a difference between dismissal and condemnation.

In light of a Republican congressman’s shamelessly explicit endorsement of white supremacist rhetoric, a reporter asked White House press secretary Sean Spicer if President Donald Trump had anything to say about that.

It wasn’t a difficult question. Here’s why: Steve King, a Republican from Iowa, recently stated the Western civilization cannot be restored “with somebody else’s babies.” Essentially, he suggested that Americancan only be made great by white babies.

And no, it’s not a distorted interpretation of his words because King later “clarified” that he meant exactly what he said: only white babies can rebuild the Western civilization.

He wasn’t even being subtle about it. It was in-your-face white supremacist rhetoric.

Now, the simplest and most powerful response, from any human being with a conscience, to such vitriol is condemnation. Period.

However, since Trump has a history of showing reluctance to disavow racists like former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke and the so-called alt-right’s poster boy Richard Spencer, his reaction to King’s racist comments was more a dismissal than a condemnation.

“The president believes that this is not a point of view that he shares,” Spicer told the reporter. “He believes he’s the president for all Americans, and so I’ll leave it at that.”

There was no criticism, no disapproval. Spicer just shrugged off the question.

Fortunately, some Republicans had a more human response. Jeff Kaufmann, the former chairman of the Iowa Republican party, for instance, called out King. But Paul Ryan wasn’t one of those Republicans.

Despite the explicit racism in King’s comments, the House speaker let him off the hook, saying, he misspoke and people are just misunderstanding his comments.

“I’d like to think that he misspoke and it wasn’t really meant the way that that sounds, and hopefully he’s clarified that,” Ryan said.

And, so, there’s little wonder why a rabid racist like Steve King still has his job.

Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Brian Frank

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