Representative Steve King isn’t the most adult person in the room — and that’s saying something when the room you’re talking about is the Republican-dominated House. A massive xenophobe and short-sighted racist bigot, King has made numerous statements over the years that leave you blinking in awe at their stupidity.
So it won’t surprise you to learn that Rep. King made another idiotic remark on Tuesday, during an interview on Newsmax when he claimed that, by practicing freedom of speech, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is somehow helping ISIS.
“Sympathetic to ISIS”
It says something that the people who are the first to rush to defend “freedom of speech” when that speech is akin to lighting up a cross on someone’s lawn are also the first to condemn people for practicing speech they disagree with.
Individualism only goes so far as slavish adherence to the American Collective will let it, and that collective demands that you stand like good, solemn little soldiers ready to die for the Fatherland when the national anthem is sung or the pledge of allegiance is blared over a loudspeaker.
And nowhere was this clearer than the non-controversy over Colin Kaepernick refusing to kneel for the national anthem. The deluge of hate that followed from the right-wing showed that they hated the very idea someone might speak their mind and be critical of the country they unthinkingly accept as perfect (except when an authority figure like Donald Trump tells them it’s not, or when the president is black or a Democrat, or both).
That ship already set sail, though — but that hasn’t stopped some stragglers from jumping aboard late, anyway. While making an appearance on the right-wing entertainment network Newsmax, Rep. Steven King accused Kaepernick of having ulterior motives for refusing to stand when the anthem was sung.
What are those motives? Well, according to the Idiot from Iowa, Kaepernick is interested in helping ISIS, because his girlfriend is Muslim. Or something:
“I understand that he has an Islamic girlfriend that is his fiancée and that this has changed him, has taken on some different political views along the way, this is activism that is sympathetic to ISIS. For me, if I’m the coach, I would say, ‘You’re done. Until you take a knee and beg forgiveness from the American people, you’re not going to set foot out on this field again.’”
I’m an American citizen and Kaepernick doesn’t need my forgiveness. He has my admiration.
Of course, we all know full well what King is saying here. He’s not referring to American citizens like me or Kaepernick since our opinions don’t matter. He’s talking about right-wing, white men who want to see this uppity black guy put in his place for daring to speak up and criticize a country only they can criticize . . . and only when someone with authority tells them it’s okay too.
That’s not freedom, that’s not brave, and that’s not individualistic. But that is certainly in keeping with how the anti-individualist, anti-freedom, cowardly authoritarian (but I repeat myself) right-wing thinks.
Watch the video below:[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=baAI_rCJgFI&w=500&h=315]
Feature image via Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons