After the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school last month, the nation saw an array of young students rise up to advocate for their beliefs, and push legislators to change gun control laws in the country. Although there was a great deal of conspiracy spewed by ultra-right wing individuals regarding the outspokenness of the young activists, it became clear that these students were taking matters into their own hands, as they viewed their representatives in office incapable of implementing reform.
One of the students that quickly became a spearhead for the gun reform movement was that of Parkland shooting survivor, Emma Gonzalez, whose ability to rile awareness and activism has caused her to become one of the focuses of the aforementioned attacks.
One of the individuals that has received backlash because of his attacks, more recently, is that of Congressman Steve King (R-IA), who published a Twitter post that presented racial bias and attacked Gonzalez for her Cuban heritage. In the post, King references that Gonzalez is merely claiming Cuban heritage despite her inability to speak Spanish, and that previous generations of her family left the Cuban dictatorship due to being unable to protect themselves via firearms.
Despite taking down the post very quickly after it was published, it was up long enough to get the attention of the social media world, and consequently some rights advocacy groups.
The Democratic Coalition Against Trump, a grassroots resistance organization, has formally filed an ethics complaint against the racially-fueled attack against Gonzalez, asking the House Office of Congressional Ethics to further examine the nature of King’s post.
BREAKING: We just filed a House Ethics Complaint on Rep. Steve King for his racist attack against Parkland shooting survivor Emma Gonzalez. We also uncovered tens of thousands in campaign payments & reimbursements to members of King's family. We included that in the complaint. pic.twitter.com/LLD4ccxj4G
— Scott Dworkin (@funder) March 27, 2018
Unfortunately for King, however, the nature of the complaint submitted does not solely surround that of the racist social media post, but further asks the Ethics Committee to look into improper handling of finances and misallocation of campaign jobs by King. The watchdog group found during their investigation that King has a long history of financial improprieties, as well as a pattern of employing his own family members for official positions within his campaign and office.
House Ethics Complaint Filed on Rep. Steve King for Attack on Parkland Survivor Emma González https://t.co/nNfndAfbR4
— Christi Knight (@CrustiTweet) March 29, 2018
Co-Founder of the Democratic Coalition, Scott Dworkin, has claimed that between 2004 and 2017, there has been over $800,000 paid by King to members of his family, via various independent groups, of which were primarily operated by relatives of the Iowa congressman.
Speaker Ryan should resign. Retweet if you agree. Today I filed a House Ethics Complaint on Ryan for allowing Rep. Steve King to attack Parkland survivor Emma González. And also for conspiring to end the House Russia probe. #RemoveRyan #TheResistance https://t.co/rgMjw9xBtr
— Scott Dworkin (@funder) March 29, 2018
King has been long known for his history of racial attacks, which stem back to the Obama era presidency as well. During the years of the former administration, King was a strong advocate of the “Birther” movement that erroneously accused Obama of being born in Kenya, not Hawaii, and has similarly appeared on mainstream media outlets racially attacking minorities for their contributions to society. With Trump taking office last year, King has become even more comfortably vocal with his pattern of racial rhetoric.
Despite the fact that King and his campaign attempted to mitigate backlash that would arise from the racially-charged post against Gonzalez, it is clear that the congressman is now being thrust into deeper waters as a result. Not only will his history of racism be investigated, but circumstances surrounding his financial record may cause even further problems, and potentially leave his post in public office in an imbalance.
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