Sunday 22 October 2017

Republican congressman sparks outrage with tweet supporting Geert Wilders

By Prudence Wade

Steve King showed his support for the far-right Dutch parliamentary candidate.

As people in the Netherlands prepare to head to the polls, an American politician has shown his support for far-right candidate Geert Wilders – and his tweet has created some controversy.

Republican representative to Iowa Steve King linked to this tweet from the Voice of Europe Twitter account, showing a cartoon of Wilders.

Wilders is a controversial character on the world stage, with some of his proposed policies including banning migration from Muslim countries and closing all Dutch mosques. Last month Wilders blamed “Moroccan scum” for street crime in the Netherlands, saying he wants to make the country “ours again”.

Many people were quick to condemn King’s tweet.

Matters weren’t helped by the fact that the former leader of the KKK, David Duke, tweeted his support of King.

Indicative of a bitterly divided America, not everyone was outraged by King’s remarks.

This is not the first time King has shown his support for the rise of far-right politicians in Europe. He has previously met with French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen.

It is also by no means the first time that King has been accused of xenophobia.

Last year, King came under fire for suggesting that “white people” had made the most contributions to civilisation: “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? Where did any other subgroup of people contribute more to civilisation?”

He later said he meant to say “Western civilisation” rather than “white people”.

King’s record shows him to be staunchly anti-immigration. In 2013 he again courted controversy by saying to conservative site Newsmax: “For everyone who’s a valedictorian, there’s another hundred out there who weigh 130 pounds — and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they’re hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert.”

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