Rep. Steve King defends RNC's lack of diversity: "Where did any other subgroup of people contribute more to civilization?"

After Esquire's Charles Pierce mentioned all the "old white people" at the GOP convention, King went off the rails

By Sophia Tesfaye

Senior Politics Editor

Published July 19, 2016 12:18AM (EDT)

 (MSNBC screengrab)
(MSNBC screengrab)

Ultra right-wing Republican Congressman Steve King stopped by MSNBC's Chris Hayes' Republican National Convention coverage in Cleveland on Monday and sat for a seemingly non-controversial segment with the host, Esquire writer Charles Pierce and Washington bureau chief for American Urban Radio Networks April Ryan -- less than week after this lovely photo was taken:

But after a forced but pleasant exchange between Hayes and King about Trump's inability to unify the Republican Party, Pierce made an observance that obviously irked King.

"If you’re really optimistic, you can say that this is the last time that old white people will command the Republican Party’s attention, its platform, and its public face,” Pierce said. “Of course, I thought this was going to happen after 2012, but thanks for the good work of Congressman King, I was disappointed . . . But I’ll tell you what, in that hall today, that hall is wired. It’s wired by unhappy, dissatisfied white people.”

To which, King replied with his handy white supremacist argument, live on television.

"This whole business does get a little tired, Charlie," King pushed back in clear frustration. "I would ask you to go back through history and figure out where are these contributions that have been made by these other categories of people that you are talking about, where did any other subgroup of people contribute more to civilization?"

"Than white people?" a startled Hayes asked incredulously.

"Than—than western civilization itself that's rooted in western Europe, eastern Europe and the United States of America, and every place where christianity settled the world," King said. "That's all of western civilization."

"But what about Africa, what about Asia?" Ryan asked. "Let's argue the history of this country, okay?"

"We are not going to argue the history of civilization," Hayes abruptly interjected as the panel erupted in chaos. "Let me note for the record that if you're looking at the ledger of Western civilization, for every flourishing democracy, you have Hitler and Stalin as well."

By Sophia Tesfaye

Sophia Tesfaye is Salon's senior editor for news and politics, and resides in Washington, D.C. You can find her on Twitter at @SophiaTesfaye.

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Chris Hayes Elections 2016 Gop Msnbc Rnc 2016 Rnc Cleveland Rncincle Steve King Video White Supremacy