Remarks U.S. Rep. Steve King made on Twitter regarding immigration are "deeply disturbing," says fellow congressman and civil rights icon John Lewis. The subject of his outrage is a tweet in which King referenced far-right Dutch politican Geert Wilders and then wrote, "We can't restore our civilization with somebody else's babies."
Wilders understands that culture and demographics are our destiny. We can't restore our civilization with somebody else's babies. https://t.co/4nxLipafWO
— Steve King (@SteveKingIA) March 12, 2017
Lewis said King's comment "ignores the truth about the history of this nation." "Western civilization did not create itself. It was founded on traditions that emerged from Africa, Iran, China, Green and Rome and other nations," Lewis wrote in a statement, The Hill reports.
Despite the criticism hurled at King, he did not step back from his comments, which were interpreted as being anti-immigrant. "Well, of course, I meant exactly what I said," King told CNN.
"I'd like to see an America that's just so homogenous that we look a lot the same, from that perspective,” said King.
Lewis acknowledged that America is made up of immigrants. “With the exception of Native Americans, we all came to this land from some other place in the world community, and this country is a melting pot of cultures, traditions, appearances, and languages," he wrote. "In order to live together as one people we must come to respect the dignity and the worth of every human being. It is that understanding that will make us one nation, not a homogenous appearance.”
The Georgia congressman called said King's statement should be "condemned" because it was “bigoted and racist." King's message "suggests there is one cultural tradition and one appearance that all of humanity should conform to," Lewis explained. "These ideas have given rise to some of the worst atrocities in human history, and they must be condemned."
King, who represents a district in Iowa, has a history of similar comments. During the Republican National Convention last year, he gave an interview in which he said of white people, “Where did any other subgroup of people contribute more to civilization?” He also is one of the most anti-LGBT members of Congress.