Steve King’s racist tweet was so popular with white supremacists they’ve dubbed him ‘King Steve’

“Steve King is basically an open white nationalist at this point.”

Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, speaks at the 40th annual Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Md., Saturday, March 16, 2013. CREDIT: AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster
Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, speaks at the 40th annual Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Md., Saturday, March 16, 2013. CREDIT: AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

Republican Congressman Steve King (IA) is being widely condemned for a racist tweet he sent on Sunday. In a tweet supporting right-wing nationalist politician Geert Wilders, King wrote, “We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.”

One group, however, is enthusiastically riding to King’s aid: White nationalists, who see King’s tweet as an endorsement of their beliefs — and as evidence that Donald Trump has made open white nationalism acceptable in mainstream American culture.

CREDIT: Screenshot, Daily Stormer
CREDIT: Screenshot, Daily Stormer

“Steve King is basically an open white nationalist at this point,” Andrew Anglin wrote on Sunday. Anglin is the founder of The Daily Stormer, a meme-heavy, far-right site that takes its name from an English translation of a Nazi tabloid. The Southern Poverty Law Center recently reported The Daily Stormer has become the most popular English-language, far-right site on the internet.

“OUR civilization and SOMEBODY ELSE’S babies. Not really any nuance there,” Anglin wrote. “Steve King should be Speaker of the House. Period. There [sic] is as plain as the nose on your face. He is /ourguy/.”

King is far from a stranger to the far right — he has long held strong anti-immigrant views, and has previously advertised meetings with other nationalist European politicians. He also used to display a confederate flag on his desk in Congress.

Sunday’s tweet, however, went further into white nationalist territory than he has gone before.

And that, from a sitting congressman, is part of what has internet racists excited — both about the comments themselves, and what they suggest regarding the prominence of white nationalism under Trump.

“King is more /ourguy/ than Trump has ever been, but would he be saying these kinds of things without Trump? We can only hope these kinds of statements serve to embolden more of our people, as they see that people like themselves are in positions of power,” begins an article on Altright.com, Richard Spencer’s new site. Spencer, a prominent white nationalist, is known for coining the euphemistic term “alt right.”

Spencer himself also praised the comments, saying in a YouTube video that he’s “proud” of King and musing, “if this is a signal that conservatives are moving in the right direction under Trump, that they are getting at something real, then I am very happy.”

That line was echoed on Gab, which became the favored messaging platform of white nationalists after Twitter started cracking down on hate speech.

“If Trump’s presidency has emboldened members of Congress to speak up against our destruction, the success or failure of Trump’s policies will be a mere footnote in his legacy,” one use wrote.

David Duke, former leader of the KKK, went on a Twitter tear praising King, urging supporters to move to Iowa, and floating King as a successor to Trump who would “finish the job.”

King also drew praise on Stormfront, a neo-Nazi web forum founded by a former Alabama Klan boss. The SPLC calls Stormfront “the first major hate site on the Internet,” and, until it was overtaken by the Daily Stormer, it was the most prominent.

“Congressman King has always stood up to the anti-white establishment but lately he seems to have manned up to his full power level,” one user wrote, praising King for not walking back on Monday. “When they get our back we need to get theirs. A U.S. Congressman is not just some smuck [sic]. BUGS, Alt-Right, 4Chan, Pepe Task Force…you guys already own most of the internet. Maybe help out the Congressman?”

CREDIT: Screenshot, Stormfront
CREDIT: Screenshot, Stormfront

Other users at Stormfront were thrilled at the new platform for their ideas.

“At least the idea is being talked about in the news,” one user wrote, ending their post “88” — which is shorthand among neo-Nazis for “Heil Hitler.”

King’s defense continued back on The Daily Stormer, where Anglin individually levied epithets at those criticizing King’s racist comments and called him the “Stormer-endorsed candidate” for Speaker of the House.

“It’s time for KING STEVE to take his place below the throne of the GOD EMPEROR,” he wrote. The “god emperor” is a far-right pet name for President Trump. “We need Steve King memes ASAP. Make them, spread them. We already memed a man President, we can meme a man Speaker.”