In Defying the Odds, we talk about the social and economic divides that enabled Trump to enter the White House.
Mr. King, in the interview, said he was not a racist. He pointed to his Twitter timeline showing him greeting Iowans of all races and religions in his Washington office. (The same office once displayed a Confederate flag on his desk.)
At the same time, he said, he supports immigrants who enter the country legally and fully assimilate because what matters more than race is “the culture of America” based on values brought to the United States by whites from Europe.
“White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?” Mr. King said. “Why did I sit in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and our civilization?”
Mr. King seems further emboldened during the Trump presidency.
In an interview in August with a far-right web publication in Austria, Mr. King displayed a deep familiarity with racist tracts and ideas embraced by white supremacists.
He spoke of “the Great Replacement,” a conspiracy theory on the far right that claims shadowy elites are working behind the scenes to reduce white populations to minorities in their own countries.
“Great replacement, yes,” Mr. King said in the interview. “These people walking into Europe by ethnic migration, 80 percent are young men.”
The accusation that a “great replacement” of whites is underway — which conspiracy theorists often link to prominent Jews like George Soros — animated the torch-carrying white nationalists in Charlottesville, Va., in 2017, who chanted, “You will not replace us” and “Jews will not replace us.”
Last week, as the new Congress was sworn in, Mr. King sat on his side of a chamber sharply delineated by demographics. The Democratic majority included record numbers of African-Americans and women, including the first Native American and the first Muslim women. Mr. King’s side was mostly people who look like him.
“You could look over there and think the Democratic Party is no country for white men,” he said.
This is an embrace of racism, and it has no place in Congress or anywhere. https://t.co/jUXsNgckPE— Justin Amash (@justinamash) January 10, 2019
If you're a Christian who is focused on whiteness or blackness, you're doing it wrong. A Christian who speaks in praise of white identity or white nationalism or white supremacy is not a Christian who really knows Christ.— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) January 10, 2019