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Complete Idiocy: Rep. Gutiérrez Slams Rep. King's Racist Tweet About "Somebody Else's Babies"

StoryMarch 16, 2017
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Guests
Luis Gutierrez

Democratic congressmember of Illinois, member of the Judiciary Committee and co-chair of the Immigration Task Force of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

Iowa Republican Congressmember Steve King sparked outrage Sunday after publishing a racist tweet in support of far-right Dutch politician Geert Wilders, who was rejected by the majority of Dutch voters during Wednesday’s parliamentary elections. Congressmember King was retweeting a cartoon by the anti-immigrant group Voice of Europe depicting Wilders with a finger plugging a leak in a dike, labeled "Western Civilization," holding back a toxic wave of Islam. The cartoon also depicts Muslim men with a sword and a suicide bomb vest. Rep. King’s retweet of the cartoon read, "Wilders understands that culture and demographics are our destiny. We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies." For more, we speak with Democratic Congressmember Luis Gutiérrez of Illinois.


TRANSCRIPT
This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: Well, I want to turn to another issue. Iowa Republican Congressmember Steve King sparked outrage Sunday after publishing a racist tweet in support of far-right Dutch politician Geert Wilders. Representative King was retweeting a cartoon by the anti-immigrant group Voice of Europe depicting Wilders with a finger plugging a leak in a dike, labeled "Western Civilization," holding back a toxic wave of Islam. The cartoon also depicts Muslim men with a sword and a suicide bomb vest. Representative King’s retweet of the cartoon read, quote, "Wilders understands that culture and demographics are our destiny. We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies," end-quote. So, Representative Gutiérrez, could you respond to that?

REP. LUIS GUTIÉRREZ: Number one, let’s understand something. I was born in the United States of America in 1953. I wasn’t born equal to everyone else, because "separate but equal" was still the law of the land when I was born here. I think he wants to go back to those times. It’s really about the color of your skin, right? It’s really about your country of origin. That’s really his—he feels that we are all an attack on civilization because of who we are.

Look, I’m as American as Mr. King is. My grandson, Luis Andres, if you asked him—he’s 13 years old. He’s going to graduate from eighth grade. And he’ll tell you, "I feel real Puerto Rican in this arm, Grandpa, real Mexican in this one," because his dad’s from Mexico, "but I’m 100 percent American right here in my heart." That’s what he needs to understand, that they—we all are Americans, regardless of the color of our skins or our countries of origin. And that is the tradition of America.

They keep talking about this question about assimilation. Well, do I sound assimilated to you? Do I—does it seem like I had a problem growing up in my house, in which my parents didn’t encourage and instill in me the necessity to learn English? It’s foolishness. It’s just complete idiocy. The United States of America is the largest cemetery in the world of foreign languages. It’s where the Germans buried their language, the Poles buried their language, where people come and integrate into American society and adopt English. What is wrong with people continuing to speak a second or even a third language? In most industrialized nations, that is a sign that you’re a smart person and an educated person. We should continue to do that in the United States of America.

AMY GOODMAN: Congressman Luis Gutiérrez, we want to thank you for being with us, Democrat of Illinois—

REP. LUIS GUTIÉRREZ: Thank you.

AMY GOODMAN: —member of the Judiciary Committee, co-chair of the Immigration Task Force of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, just recently handcuffed by ICE as he refused to leave the office until he got some answers on what the Trump administration’s policy on immigration and deportation is.

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