The Parkland survivors pulled off a massive rally in Washington, D.C. and other protests in cities across the country this weekend and Republicans seem to be freaking out over how effective it was.Rather than celebrating their activism, the GOP has turned to attacking them, distorting their positions, and generally just trying to ignore them. GOP Rep. Steve King (R-IA) took things a step further on his Facebook page.
Steve King (R-IA) is probably the most openly racist Republican in Washington, remember when he said this about the Dreamers?
“For every one who’s a valedictorian there’s another 100 out there that—they weigh 130 pounds and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they’re hauling 74 pounds of marijuana across the dessert.”
Or when he just straight-up said that no “subgroups” contribute anything meaningful to “Western civilization”:
“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?”
Or this openly racist tweet:
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
Steve King is all about blood and soil nationalism, just like the white supremacists who marched in Charlottesville. Like white supremacists, he doesn’t believe in the traditional vision of America as an idea—“a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal,” as founder of the Republican Party Abraham Lincoln put it. To King and those like him, America is defined by her territorial boundaries and the white, European blood and culture of those who live there. Everyone else is a guest in white America, and accordingly they should “know their place.”
Which makes is all the more strange that he attacked Parkland survivor and gun control activist Emma González for not embracing her Cuban heritage the way he would have liked:
Steve King’s FB page still has this up… his attack on a school shooting survivor, Emma Gonzalez, simply for wearing a patch honoring her Cuban heritage. pic.twitter.com/NjFZcLPMH2
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) March 26, 2018
As Matt Yglesias pointed out, Emma González and her family seem to have assimilated pretty well!
I am also (partially) of Cuban ancestry and don’t speak Spanish. Assimilation works! https://t.co/uZwkevtv20
— Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias) March 26, 2018
In fact, she stands as a direct counter to King’s idea that immigrants and their offspring can never fully embrace American values. Here she is, the descendant of Cuban immigrants, demonstrating what democracy and the rights—and duties—of citizenship entail.
One of González’s classmates, activist David Hogg, got her back on Twitter showing once again that these kids are more mature than Republican adults:
Of course, the other problem with King’s stupid line of attack is that *clears throat* NO ONE IS ASKING TO BAN ALL GUNS. There wasn’t a single speaker at the March For Our Lives who said “let’s confiscate everyone’s guns!” It’s an absurd distortion and one that Republicans and their allies in the NRA are happy to promote. As long as they can keep their rabid base gripped by the fear that the feds are coming to take their weapons, they’ll keep turning out to the polls to elect more Steve Kings and keep lining the pockets of the NRA and the gun manufacturers they represent.