And the GOP wonders why it is doing so poorly among Latino and other minority voters. Rep. Steve King (R-IA) made a number of incendiary statements last week that characterized DREAM ACT age immigrants as either drug mules or valedictorians. Here he is in his own words via Politico:
“It’s not something that I’m making up. This is real. We have people that are mules, that are drug mules, that are hauling drugs across the border and you can tell by their physical characteristics what they’ve been doing for months, going through the desert with 75 pounds of drugs on their back and if those who advocate for the DREAM Act, if they choose to characterize this about valedictorians, I gave them a different image that we need to be thinking about because we just simply can’t be passing legislation looking only at one component of what would be millions of people.”
“There are valedictorians in this group and my heart goes out to them, but not to the point where I’d sacrifice the rule of law and legalize a lot of bad elements in the process."
Inexplicably, King, who claims he did not make his remarks to incite controversy, perceives undocumented immigrants who were brought to this country as minors as either valedictorians or drug mules, as if there is nothing in between that harsh binary. King's approach is remarkably akin to the madonna-whore complex in which men can only conceive of women as wholly good or wholly evil. In both approaches, the person denies or is utterly unable or unwilling to see the range of human existence and permutation of an entire ethnicity or sex. In King's mind, undocumented immigrants are either academic superstars or contributors to the nation's drug problem. They are not mothers, sisters, uncles, cousins, workers trying to make their lives better for themselves and their families.
King's comments were condemned by Speaker Boehner who said, “There can be honest disagreements about policy without using hateful language." Boehner and other GOP leaders may chastise King, but one wonders why the GOP has so many members who feel so freely to make such comments about minorities and women that are so far outside the mainstream of even the most conservative thought.