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    Congressman says civilization can’t be restored with ‘somebody else’s babies’

    Representative Steve King of Iowa in 2014.
    Stephen Crowley/The New York Times
    Representative Steve King of Iowa in 2014.

    Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, who has a history of making inflammatory statements viewed by many as insensitive or outright racist, was roundly criticized Sunday for his apparent endorsement of white nationalism.

    King made the remark on Twitter when he shared a story by the Voice of Europe website about far-right Dutch politician Geert Wilders, who wants to end Muslim immigration and ban the Quran and who has called Moroccan immigrants “scum.”

    “Wilders understands that culture and demographics are our destiny,” wrote King, 67, who represents a state that is nearly 90 percent white. “We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.”

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    Critics said that King echoed the principles of white nationalism, the belief that national identity is linked to the white race and its superiority to other races. Self-proclaimed white nationalists emerged as a small but vocal group during the candidacy of Donald Trump, celebrating his promises to crack down on illegal immigration and ban Muslims from entering the United States, as well as heralding his presidential victory as a chance to preserve white culture.

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    David Duke, the white nationalist and former Ku Klux Klansman who called Trump “by far the best candidate” during the campaign, celebrated King’s comments.

    “GOD BLESS STEVE KING!!!” Duke wrote on Twitter, sharing a story on the remarks.

    But many people quickly condemned King. “You, Congressman, are simply a bigot,” one person replied. Another person wrote, “You know that you were ‘somebody else’s baby’ too, right? Or do you not understand how this works?”

    Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., who was born in Taiwan, shared a photo of his sons on Twitter and wrote, “Dear Representative Steve King: These are my two babies.”

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    King, who was elected to Congress in 2002, questioned what nonwhites have contributed to civilization at a panel discussion in July about the racial makeup of the Republican Party.

    “I’d 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,” he said. “Where did any other subgroup of people contribute more to civilization?”

    The month before, he tried to block an effort to put Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill. In 2013, King said that for every successful child of unauthorized immigrants, there were 100 others who were drug mules with “calves the size of cantaloupes” from hauling marijuana.