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Olmstead writes: "Rep. Steve King - a man who makes news with openly racist, white supremacist, and otherwise offensive comments often enough that his own party finally stripped him of his committee assignments - dredged up an old racist complaint while speaking at a town hall in the overwhelmingly white city of Charter Oak, Iowa, Thursday night."

Representative Steve King. (photo: Drew Angerer/Getty)
Representative Steve King. (photo: Drew Angerer/Getty)


Rep. Steve King Belittles Hurricane Katrina Victims for Needing Help, Unlike Iowans

By Molly Olmstead, Slate

22 March 19

 

ep. Steve King—a man who makes news with openly racist, white supremacist, and otherwise offensive comments often enough that his own party finally stripped him of his committee assignments—dredged up an old racist complaint while speaking at a town hall in the overwhelmingly white city of Charter Oak, Iowa, Thursday night:

[H]ere’s what FEMA tells me: We go to a place like New Orleans, and everybody’s looking around saying, “Who’s going to help me? Who’s going to help me?” We go to a place like Iowa, and we go see, knock on the door at, say, I make up a name, John’s place, and say, “John, you got water in your basement, we can write you a check, we can help you.” And John will say, “Well, wait a minute, let me get my boots. It’s Joe that needs help. Let’s go down to his place and help him.”

While King, in praising Iowans for their response to the recent flooding along the Missouri River, did not say explicitly why he singled out residents of New Orleans 14 years ago, the majority-black city has long been subject to racist tropes about laziness and reliance on government handouts.

King, who in his comments boasted that he had visited New Orleans after the hurricane and participated in relief efforts, was one of a small number in Congress to oppose a bill providing federal aid to the victims, according to the Washington Post. Hurricane Katrina was the deadliest storm to hit the U.S. in nearly eight decades: According to CNN, at least 1,833 people, mainly in Louisiana, died from the storm and its floods; nearly half of those who died in Louisiana were older than 74. The government estimated the cost of damage at $125 billion.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards called King’s comments “disgusting and disheartening” on Thursday. “When communities are affected by disasters, we come together to help each other, not tear each other down,” he tweeted.

U.S. House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, who represents a suburban New Orleans district, also quickly condemned King’s statement. “His comments about Katrina victims are absurd and offensive,” he told the Advocate. “[They] are a complete contradiction to the strength and resilience the people of New Orleans demonstrated to the entire nation in the wake of the total devastation they experienced.”

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+12 # economagic 2019-03-23 06:27
1. The statutory mission of FEMA is to help people in need; the more need the more help. It has failed miserably at that mission for more than a decade.

2. Iowa is not a rich state, but it is not a poor state. Many of its people even have houses with basements. It is also almost entirely white. Many of the people of New Orleans had little or nothing before Katrina, and literally nothing after, and such help as many of them received came from armies of volunteers.
 
 
+9 # hectormaria 2019-03-23 08:09
We all need help from "others" at one time or another, for "no-man is an island unto himself". In their fake alt-universe, 'fake Christians' like King think they are endowed with God-given supernatural capacities that make them superior to the rest of us. What they have is a 'superiority complex' that strips them of their humaneness.
 
 
+7 # DongiC 2019-03-23 13:14
Why do the voters of Iowa keep electing this numbnutz to office? Is this what Iowa stands for? Like kicking someone when he is down. He is the kind of Christian that Christ would vomit from his mouth since he (King) despises his black brothers so. Come on, people of Iowa, send Rep King packing!
 
 
+6 # chapdrum 2019-03-23 14:20
A poster boy for his party. A civilized (or humane) party would've removed him from office, after his Tweet about the red states having trillions of bullets.
 
 
+2 # RLF 2019-03-25 07:11
The good voters of Iowa don't need no socialism to rebuild their state...FEMA is a socialistic program...and they hate that!
 

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