What Do You Mean by “Our” Civilization, Wingnut?

Rep. Steve “Calves Like Cantaloupes” King tweeted this recently:

Kind of takes your breath away, doesn’t it?

Slammed because his tweet was rather nakedly racist, King said on CNN,

“I’ve been to Europe and I’ve spoken on this issue and I’ve said the same thing as far as ten years ago to the German people and to any population of people that is a declining population that isn’t willing to have enough babies to reproduce themselves. And I’ve said to them, you can’t rebuild your civilization with somebody else’s babies,” King said on CNN. “You’ve got to keep your birth rate up and that you need to teach your children your values.”

King then lamented that the U.S. has “aborted nearly 60 million babies” since 1973 and claimed that there is an effort to “replace that void with somebody else’s babies.”

“That’s the push to bring in much illegal immigration into America, living in enclaves, refusing to assimilate into the American culture and civilization,” he said. “Some embrace it, yes. But many are two and three generations living in enclaves that are pushing back now in resistance against the assimilation. It’s far worse in Europe than it is today here in the United States, but I want us to be looking at that, promoting the birth rate in America, restoring the rule of law, putting an end to illegal immigration and recognizing that we need to be a country that’s pulled together on similar values.”

Never mind that in the 19th century Americans were saying the same things about the Irish that they’re saying about Syrians now.

The CNN host told King that the congressman has appeared to push for white people to raise their birth rate, prompting the congressman to argue that he has talked about “culture,” not race.

“I did defend western civilization,” King said. “If we have an element of Americans here — and that’s a big element — that reject western civilization, then what have we? This is an effort on the left I think to break down the American civilization and the American culture and turn it into something entirely different.”

“This western civilization is a superior civilization and we want to share it with everybody,” he added.

The Republican-dominated federal government is poised to do away with the National Endowment for the Arts, and this clown is concerned about western civilization because there aren’t enough (white) American babies? That’s rich.

Western civilization is doing just fine, actually. There’s an all-Beethoven program scheduled for the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra. The National Ballet of China will be performing “Giselle” later this month (and also that perennial favorite, “The Red Detachment of Women”). And check out the schedule for the Royal Opera House Muscat in Syria.

What’s great about western civilization is widely appreciated just about everywhere but in the U.S., it seems. And I don’t think that has anything to do with who’s having babies.

See also Charles Pierce, “This Is the Most Blatantly Racist Statement from a Member of Congress in 50 Years.”

20 thoughts on “What Do You Mean by “Our” Civilization, Wingnut?

  1. ‘“If we have an element of Americans here — and that’s a big element — that reject western civilization, then what have we? …”

    Oh, I think I know!
    A country led by a Republican POTUS with a Republican Congress; and dozens of states with Republican Governors and state legislatures?

    What Rep. Ding-a-ling King doesn’t know is that after he gets done speaking in front of an audience in a foreign country, and exits “STAGE RIGHT!!!”, representatives of that country come out, and say to the audience, “Look, complain as long and hard as you want about our country’s government, but at least you’d have to admit that for the most part, we manage to keep the stupid, the ignorant, the bigoted. and the just plain old moronic, out of positions of power! So, follow whatever music, movie, books, TV shows, or other entertainment trends you want from America. But don’t even think about emulating their politics!!!”

    C’mon, Iowa!
    Get better representation:
    Not only is a pig smarter than Rep. Ding-a-ling King, but if it starts acting up, you can always make bacon.
    I wouldn’t try that with King. Too many vermin in that bigoted beast to risk eating him – no matter how hungry you are. Hell, someone from the Donner Party would have donated a loin for other members to cook while s/he, just to make a sandwich as a going-away gift for King for… well, for going away – PERMANENTLY!

  2. Benjamin Franklin wrote about a unassimilable minority culture – the Germans. But no worries, eventually America called them white, and now they fit right in. The Irish, too, had to become white, and they did; so did the Poles, the Jews, the Italians and many others.

    So the solution to the Hispanic problem is simple. Just wait until enough of them are rich and powerful; then call them all white. Problem solved!

  3. By “our civilization,” he must mean what the Rastafarians term Babylon – mass consumer culture meant to enslave the masses, for the exclusive benefit of the oppressor class. Totally consistent with Republican dogma.

  4. I suppose that one of the positive things about this whole nightmare, if there is anything positive, is that so many wingnuts have decided that it’s safe to fully display what they’ve been hiding and denying for so long. Of course, that doesn’t make it any easier to live with, but, it puts all the cards on the table. As they used to say, “read ’em and weep ’em.”

    I gather that to a lot of people, “western Civilization” is more “Duck Dynasty” than Beethoven. At least they’re keeping up with the times. But, as Blackadder once observed to Baldrick, “The Rennaisance is something that happened to other people.”

    Sometimes I remember things I was taught in history class that seem so blinkered and blatantly racist that it scarcely seems possible. I can think of a couple that made me cringe even as a junior high schooler. I’d bet that some others have similar memories. It seems like we’ve improved a tiny bit.

  5. So when are “Western” civilizations going to return to Roman numerals rather than those alien “Hindu-Arabic” numerals and that crazy Base-10 positional notation ?

    What about the payment of 1000 years of royalties ?

  6. Maybe we boycott, oh, say, Polaris. Seems they do 80 percent of their mfg in Spirit Lake IA. They voted Trump to the tune of 64 percent.
    So lets burn a few snow machines, as Sarah says…

  7. It doesn’t matter whose babies they are; babies are moochers, they know nothing about our civilization, and they’re here to replace us. Our only hope is to turn them into us!

  8. King said on CNN. “You’ve got to keep your birth rate up and that you need to teach your children your values.”
    I wonder what those values are coming from a Trump supporting Repug?… “Well, son, your mother was a 10 or at least a 9.5 when I married her, but now after 10 years of marriage she’s turned into a 4. I’m thinking about trading her in for something hot like Melania. I think it would help my professional image to be seen with a nice piece of arm candy.Who knows, maybe I’ll get a Stepford wife like our president has. My wish is her command”.

    P.S. I just celebrated 42 years of marriage last week. My son in law wanting to know how long my wife and I have been married, asked my wife how many years of wedded bliss we are celebrating…She replied.. “about 5 years”.

  9. I’m probably oversimplifying, but, one of the progressive byproducts of capitalism is the way trade penetrates national borders. Trade routes are a conduit for both products and ideas. But, evidently, this is a serious flaw for right wingers, who are otherwise (free) market fundamentalists. They want the cheap labor and exotic goods to keep our own labor force in line, but they don’t want the cultural competition that comes with it. They want the felafel cart in the food court, but, they don’t want the foreign music that the proprietor is playing.

    Cultures are associated with specific geographic areas. But, that seems in the process of changing. Most of that change is probably an illusion, but, the perception of change and the concomitant loss of ownership of a patch of land leads to panic among “cultural conservatives.” So contradictions arise. They love Western civilization in the abstract, but, the particulars piss them off. They love the market, but, at times they find what it brings threatening. Basically, competition is great if you’re winning, pure evil if you’re not.

    Maybe, it’s one of those cases where a thing contains its opposite, or the mechanism for its own destruction. More likely, like most things, our culture contains the seeds of change. That seems like a good evolutionary strategy to me.

    I guess I might have simply observed that the right has some internal contradictions regarding culture, and that extends to contradictions in their embrace of markets.

  10. Swami,

    Note to Rep. K(Th)ing:
    A large part of our culture comes from the babies – both tiny and grown – whom we stole from “their” cultures in Africa. And we brought those people – against their wills – to be enslaved here.

    I know you don’t think about such things, but others do.
    So, therefore, realize, you bigoted assclown, that a large part of “our” culture comes from “those” folks.
    And besides African-Americas, we PROUDLY were a melting-pot for all the world’s cultures, religions, societies, etc.

    Ah, what’s the use?
    He can’t learn,. Not because he’s too old. But because he doesn’t want to.
    His mind died a long, long time ago. His putrid and wrinkled body goes on, but he is functionally – except for reptilian impulses, and involuntary reflexes – brain dead.

    Oh, and Congressthing, one last suggestion:
    As a courtesy for those who DO visit your grave – I mean those outside of your closes circle of family and friens – to have a toilet-paper dispenser near your grave. At least people might walk away feeling that maybe you weren’t such an evil bigoted buffoon after all!


  11. Civilization is not advanced by repetition of past mistakes.  Fascism and the associated Social Darwinism was one of the biggest mistakes of our civilization.  A re-run of these failed ideas in the name of saving civilization is stupidity on steroids. 

    Cohen treated the “babies” issue well in a NYT article today:  “That is what Republican congressman Steve King of Iowa declared over the weekend (and was hailed by David Duke, the former leader of the Ku Klux Klan, who tweeted “God Bless Steve King”; most Republicans remained silent). Fascist genetics now have a place on Capitol Hill.”
    The use of the term fascist genetics is commendable, perhaps a sign of civilization in an advancing era.  I would doubt if Duke or King would agree.


  12. I like how that argument goes – that he’s not racist, he’s just saying that certain kinds of people can’t appreciate our civilization. It’s the best, the absolute best, objectively, truly, no one can argue with that. Except certain kinds of people who can’t see that it’s the best, objectively, and therefore are inferior. And he’s not saying, you know, it’s *race*, it’s just… something. Something *different*. And it’s something that’s true, immutably true, about babies.

    Shoot. If Socrates met this bozo, and found himself forced to try to stir up better thinking among people like him, he’d have drunk the hemlock *before* being accused of corrupting the youth.

  13. Congratulations, Swami, on your Ruby Anniversary! Since I am American Indian, I almost always want to tell Steve King to get the heck off my land. As far as I am concerned, he is an illegal immigrant and should be sent back to his country of origin.

  14. Bonnie,
    Even if King’s family tree could be traced – which it can’t, since consists of just one branch going straight to the deepest root – no country would claim this bigoted, moronic, assclown, as one of its own!

  15. Great article, as always. Small correction: Muscat is in Oman, not Syria. And let’s not forget that this is the same Steve King who famously said, last July on an MSNBC panel: “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 subgroup of people contribute more to civilization?” It got worse after that. How is it that this man is not just being “rebuked” (per a NYT headline today) but CENSURED by his colleagues in the House?

  16. Well thank God. Rep King just let everyone know that before the blacks and the browns take over they’re going to have a really big rumble and wipe each other out, or something like that. So it will all work out and the whites will still be in charge.
    Sorry no links…me and android don’t work to well together. I read this over at TPM.

  17. Thank you ,Bonnie.

    I was thinking about King’s assertion that abortions are acting as an agent in changing cultural demographics to favor minorities or others who are not like “us”, and his strong opposition to Planned Parenthood for being a provider of abortion services that he claims is destroying “our” culture. But if I remember correctly, the claims made against Planned Parenthood at it’s inception were that it was a covert genocide against poor blacks and immigrant minorities. It’s sorta like you just can win the war for reproductive rights no matter what you do.

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