GOP Rep Says Its Ok To Violate Rights So Long As Protestors Are ‘Of A Single Origin’ (VIDEO)

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Photo of Rep. Steve King (R-IA) cc 2013 by Gage Skidmore via Flickr.

Representative Steve King (R-IA) has stepped in it again. This time, in a phone interview with NewsmaxTV, he proclaimed that any concerns over racial profiling in Ferguson, Missouri were unfounded.

This idea of no racial profiling. I’ve seen the video. It looks to me like you don’t need to bother with that particular factor because they all appear to be of a single, you know, of a single origin, I should say, a continental origin might be the way to phrase that.

What a lovely way for Congressmen King to point to an ethnic group without saying the words out loud – a dog whistle to the racists he appears to court for re-election and fundraising. It is nn old trick, one pioneered by Lee Atwater to use code words which imply, but do not say directly, the racially charged language the politician wishes to use. To quote Mr. Atwater from his 1981 interview with Alexander Lamis,

You start out in 1954 by saying, “N##ger, n##ger, n##ger.” By 1968 you can’t say “n##ger” — that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states’ rights and all that stuff. You’re getting so abstract now [that] you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites. And subconsciously maybe that is part of it. I’m not saying that. But I’m saying that if it is getting that abstract, and that coded, that we are doing away with the racial problem one way or the other. You follow me — because obviously sitting around saying, “We want to cut this,” is much more abstract than even the busing thing, and a hell of a lot more abstract than “N##ger, n##ger.”

Now, Congressman King has come up with ‘continental origin’ as a nice code-word, a very inaccurate code word at that. For his fans, this is a racial issue, of white police being harassed by black rioters. Of course, the protestors are not all of any racial group, and reflect instead the diverse background of the town of Ferguson itself, as on display by this picture posted by The Nation.

Congressman King should be ashamed of himself for the use of such a poor choice of words. He is demonstrating that he is out of touch with the people on the ground, relying instead on propaganda fed to him by the right-wing propaganda machine who are trying desperately to turn this into a racial issue, rather than admit that the police are out of control.

The shooting of Michael Brown has opened up a dialog in this country over the militarization of the police. Those like Congressman King wave their hands over the civil rights abuses caused by the police on a daily basis. To him, those hurt are “those people” and unimportant to him. They are “Continental Origin,” and unworthy.

Of course, racism is to be expected by the man who thinks that immigrants are drug runners, even that minorities are only playing victim. He recognizes that he cannot be frank about his racism, so he hunts for new code words to use. Instead, he should be searching within, in order to overcome and eliminate his latent racist tendencies.

But that would require him to become a proper, respectable human being.

You may listen to his discussion for yourself here.