Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Don't set foot in Iowa

“For everyone who’s a valedictorian, there’s another 100 out there that weigh 130 pounds and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they’re hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert.” — Steve King, Iowa Fourth District Congressman, in remarks about immigration reform and the DREAM Act

IF YOU live in Iowa — and even if you don't — by now you've heard of Steve King. Now that I think about it, how could you not have heard of this racist, xenophobic, misogynistic throwback to the early 1900's, who is Iowa's Fourth District Congressional Representative

Iowans with a modicum of sense are acutely ashamed that he's been reelected seven times since he first packed his bags for D.C. in 2003. I asked Paul if we couldn't maybe cede that northwest corner of Iowa to Nebraska and South Dakota. They could split it between themselves. Sorry, NW Iowa, but at some point there have to be consequences.

Below is an article by Greg Toppo from the March 12 issue of USA Today about the latest reprehensible thing King said, but more importantly — so much more importantly — I'm presenting a simple, no-cost, two-step plan for you to help save Iowa and the country.

U.S. Rep. Steve King, an Iowa Republican who last July said white Christians have contributed more to Western civilization than any other “subgroup,” on Sunday found himself again the subject of criticism, this time for saying that Muslim children are preventing “our civilization” from being restored. 

King, who was retweeting a message endorsing Geert Wilders, a far-right candidate for Dutch prime minister, said Wilders “understands that culture and demographics are our destiny. We can't restore our civilization with somebody else's babies.”

The original tweet, from the anti-European Union Voice of Europe media organization, displays a cartoon with an image of Wilders plugging a hole in a wall labeled “Western Civilization.” Nearby, bearded protesters hold signs that say, “Infidels, Know Your Limits” and “Freedom of Speech Go To Hell.”

The caption reads: "Hundreds of Islamists shouting 'Allahu Akbar' in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Wilders is right for over 10 years."

Me again:

Then David Duke came to King's defense. You remember him, right? . . . the white nationalist, antisemitic conspiracy theorist, Holocaust denier and former Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan

King promptly doubled down on March 14 by telling CNN, "I meant exactly what I said," and that he'd "like to see an America that's just so homogeneous that we look a lot the same, from that perspective."

But then a funny thing happened. People who had planned trips to Iowa started canceling them!! Here's an article from The Des Moines Register.

People are canceling their Iowa vacations because of Steve King's words

By Kevin Hardy, The Des Moines Register 

March 18, 2017, Updated March 20, 2017

The Iowa Tourism Office generally receives about two complaints a month from travelers who leave the state peeved about picking up a speeding ticket or dissatisfied with an unpleasant hotel stay.

But in the days following U.S. Rep Steve King's recent controversial comments, staff responded to about 60 tweets a day, not to mention emails, Facebook posts and calls from potential tourists, officials said Friday.

Many would-be travelers vowed to cancel spring or summer trips to Iowa. Some longtime attendees of an annual bike ride across Iowa promised to ditch the trek after King tweeted Sunday a suggestion that Muslim children are preventing “our civilization” from being restored, officials from the Iowa Tourism Office told The Des Moines Register on Friday.

David Bernstein, a member of the Iowa Economic Development Authority board, aired the tourists' concerns at the board's monthly meeting on Friday. The economic development authority, which oversees the Iowa Tourism Office, says tourism contributes $8 billion in economic activity to the state. And Bernstein said King's statements could hurt businesses looking to woo travelers.

King, who was retweeting a message endorsing Geert Wilders, a far-right candidate who came in second during Wednesday's election for Dutch prime minister, said Wilders “understands that culture and demographics are our destiny. We can't restore our civilization with somebody else's babies.” While Iowa Republicans disavowed King's statement, former Ku Klux Klan Imperial Wizard David Duke embraced the congressman's rhetoric.

That left state officials who market Iowa as a travel destination playing defense as they sought distance from King's charged rhetoric. Shawna Lode, manager of the Iowa Tourism Office, said staff members ensured potential tourists, particularly minorities, that Iowans were welcoming of all.

"We’re in a politically charged environment," she said after Friday's meeting. "People have strong opinions about lots of things. They are free to share their thoughts with us, and we’ll continue to say that Iowa is a welcoming place and we welcome all people."

State officials this week offered many responses like this one on the Travel Iowa Twitter account: "Iowans are diverse, progressive and tolerant. We welcome all people to experience our state."

Bernstein, a Sioux City businessman appointed to the board, said the backlash this week reached a "new level."

"This was the worst one ever. I live in his district and have been following him a long time," he said. "And, being Jewish, I am particularly sensitive to his perspective. This was by far the worst set of comments he ever made."

He said the backlash could be particularly damaging to businesses in King's 4th Congressional District, which includes Sioux City and northwest Iowa.

Me again:

Now here's where you come in: DON'T COME TO IOWA. Regardless of how much you miss Aunt Sally and Uncle Walter, and even though your 30th class reunion is this summer, help save Iowa and the country by staying out of Iowa entirely.

That's step one. 

However, this is what will seal the deal: send a letter or email to the local Chamber of Commerce of the area you had originally planned to visit — and for good measure, copy the Iowa Department of Tourism — and tell them that you're not coming there and why!

If you live in Iowa, you can still make an impact by not visitng the Fourth District. 

Below is a map of the district, so you'll know where to avoid. Again, be sure and let the local COC or mayor know why you won't be sojourning there. 

Or even better, relocate your event to the Second District, and let the COCs know you chose the locale because you're rewarding area voters for having the good sense to elect a sane man, Representative Dave Loesback.

We seem to have lost all moral direction here, but everybody still seems plenty in love with making a buck, so do your part and stay out of Iowa and the Fourth District.  

1 comment:

  1. Good for you. This Steve King is a horror and seems comfortably locked into his position. So by encouraging a boycott, you may be able to create change where it will make a real difference. Money talks to those who support him in a way words won't.