For the Senate’s only black Republican, there’s little reason to ask why some in the GOP get accused of racism.
In the wake of controversial comments by Rep. Steve King of Iowa, who wondered in an interview how the terms “white nationalist” and “white supremacist” became offensive, Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina writes in the Washington Post that “silence is no longer acceptable.”
King on Friday said he regretted the “heartburn” his comments caused, but didn’t directly apologize. The Iowa congressman, who has come under fire in the past for comments about race and immigration, made his initial remarks in an interview with the New York Times.
King’s comments also earned him a reprimand from House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a California Republican, who said Thursday that his colleague’s language “has no place in our society.”
The controversy over King’s remarks comes as President Donald Trump and congressional Democrats are sparring over border security and the president’s proposed wall. The impasse has led to a partial shutdown now three weeks old.
In his op-ed, Scott said his fellow Republican’s views aren’t conservative. They are “separate views that should be ridiculed at every turn possible.”
After the Times article was published Thursday, King issued a statement calling himself a “nationalist” and defending his support of “western civilization’s values,” and said he was not an advocate for “white nationalism and white supremacy.”