Now for our other regular feature, the Clown Award, give for meritorious stupidity and this week it's a real real winner.
The Big Red Nose this week goes to Rep. Steve King, right-wing flake from Iowa. He was on MSNBC the afternoon of July 18 as part of the network's coverage of the GOPper convention. He was on a panel moderated by Chris Hayes along with White House correspondent April Ryan and Charles Pierce, a writer for Esquire.
When Pierce said that the convention hall "is wired by loud, unhappy, dissatisfied white people" King said Pierce should "go back through history and figure out where are these contributions that have been made by these other categories of people that you're talking about. Where did any other subgroup of people contribute more to civilization?"
Hayes, clearly taken aback, asked King "Than white people?" to which our clown said "than Western civilization," which he described as "rooted in western Europe, eastern Europe and the United States of America" - in other words, essentially white people - "and every place where the footprint of Christianity settled the world."
Hayes, obviously fearing things were about to fly out of control, cut off the segment.
Now, King is an old-line racist and often seems genuinely mentally disturbed. As one example, in 2013, talking about immigration reform, he declared that for every illegal immigrant in the country who becomes a valedictorian, "there's another 100 out there that weigh 130 pounds, and they've got the calves the size of cantaloupes because they're hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert."
For another, earlier this year, he said the decision to have Harriet Tubman replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill was "racist" and "sexist" and part of attempts by Obama to "upset this civilization."
|Rep. Steve King (R-Bedlam)|
Even against that background this latest descent into dumbness, this latest sinkhole of stupidity, is truly meritorious in its self-satisfied ignorance.
Leaving aside areas like philosophical and religious concepts, which King would likely sneer are of no "value" because not Christian, we should note that the very idea of civilization itself as we understand the term did not come from the Western world: The first settled communities arose in Mesopotamia.
The non-Western world also created astronomy, monetary systems, critical innovations in art and architecture, and games like chess and go, among other things.
Want more specifics? Among the contributions from China have been ink, paper, porcelain, gunpowder, some of the earliest clocks, and the compass, to name a few.
In addition to preserving knowledge from ancient Greece and other places while Europe hunkered in superstition and ignorance sufficient to become known at the Dark Ages, on their own Muslims came up with, among a bunch of other things, hospitals, coffee, perfume, the first university, and oh, yeah, our modern system of mathematics, which has made our entire modern world possible. Muslims developed it after adopting the concept of zero, which came from India.
In fact, the word algebra comes from the Arabic word al-jabr and the word algorithm, referring to a mathematical process following a set of rules, derives from al-Kwarizmi, the name given to a 9th-century Arabic mathematician. Or would you rather balance your checkbook in Roman numerals?
Oh, and one more thing that the non-western world contributed, something that lamebrain Steve King would have to regard as a big contribution? Christianity.
My gosh, looking at Steve King it is hard to believe that so little rational knowledge could be in such a fat head.
Rep. Steve King: bigot, bozo, buffoon, and world-class clown.
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