Comments made by Congressman Steve King over the weekend — including his statement that he’s a “champion of Western civilization” — echo ideology espoused by prominent white nationalists or supremacists across the country. And for most of them, Jews are decidedly not part of that civilization — and are viewed as a distinct threat. King could not be reached immediately for comment.
After sharing an article by Dutch far-right leader Geert Wilders, King tweeted.
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
White supremacists praised the language; they see in it an endorsement of their vision of restoring an imagined, once-great “Western Civilization” in America.
“Steve King is getting at a root nationalism in the real sense of the word and I am very proud of him for doing that,” Richard Spencer, “alt-right” figurehead said in a YouTube address to his followers.
Spencer elaborated on his idea of Western Civilization and exactly who fits — or doesn’t — into this worldview. Spencer does not view Jews as white and previously said, “Jews are not white. Jews are Jews.”
“Many people seem to imagine we could find a black African and dress him up in a Harris tweed vest or give him a pipe or some snuff and a bowler cap and he’ll become an Englishman,” Spencer said with visible sarcasm.
Infostormer, a neo-Nazi website devoted to “destroying Jewish tyranny,” praised King’s comments.
“Whites built America … so there is nothing un-American about what King said,” the post read. “What’s un-American is unlimited immigration, multiculturalism and this Jewish agenda that has destroyed the original intent of what America was supposed to be.”
Former Ku Klux Klan head and Louisiana politician David Duke also praised King in his regular radio address and said that criticism being leveled against him was “evidence of Jewish power.”
“King said the same for us that Zionists say about Jewish birthrate in Israel & diaspora. But the Media loves Israel right? Hypocrisy!” Duke wrote on Twitter.
Duke compared the fight to “preserve Western Civilization” as being no different than demographic concerns in Israel, which Duke described as a Jewish ethnostate.
“How can the … media say that Europeans wanting to preserve Wester Civilization don’t have that right?” Duke said. “If people want evidence of jewish power its right there in front of you.”
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Sam Kestenbaum is a contributing editor and former staff writer for the Forward. Before this, he worked for The New York Times and newsrooms in Sana, Ramallah and Beijing. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter at @skestenbaum and on Instagram at @skestenbaum .