Donald Trump has made it easier to be a bigot in America. The latest evidence is Steve King, a Republican congressman from Iowa, who has been one of the staunchest defenders of his party’s nominee against the forces of #NeverTrump. On a MSNBC panel hosted by Chris Hayes, King responded to a comment Esquire writer Charles Pierce made about the GOP becoming the party of “old white people” by arguing that white people were responsible for almost all that is good in the world. According to King:
“This whole ‘white people’ business, though, does get a little tired, Charlie. I mean, 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? Where did any other sub-group of people contribute to civilization?”
When Hayes pushed against these remarks, King back-tracked slightly and pretended he was talking about “Western civilization.” But the meaning of the original remarks is hard to deny—that King thinks that “other sub-groups” pale in comparison to pale people. This is a Republican congressman talking on the first night of the Republican convention. The Trump era is opening the floodgates on public expressions of racism.