Rep. Steve King (R-IA) posted a transphobic meme to his official campaign Facebook page on Saturday (16 March). The meme uses transphobic language to encourage a civil war in the United States.
The Republican from Iowa since deleted his post, but not before the internet managed to get screenshots.
Two figures fighting are depicted in the meme — one red, one blue. Each figure is made up of the states based on their political leanings. Yarek Waszul created the original art for a 2013 New York Times book review.
‘Folks keep talking about another civil war,’ the meme reads. ‘One side has about 8 trillion bullets, while the other side doesn’t know which bathroom to use.’
King accompanied his post with a smirking emoji and the caption: ‘Wonder who would win.’
Earlier this year, the House stripped King of his committee positions because of his comments on white supremacy.
Calls for expulsion
Many are calling for King’s resignation or his expulsion from Congress.
Richard Painter, George W. Bush’s chief ethics lawyer during his presidency, called King’s post ‘treason’ in a tweet.
‘Steve King should be expelled from the House immediately,’ he concluded.
This is treason.
Steve King should be expelled from the House immediately.
Steve King shares meme touting red states in potential modern-day civil war – CNNPolitics https://t.co/GI7mb1iGnC
— Richard W. Painter (@RWPUSA) March 18, 2019
Harvard Law professor Laurence Tribe replied to Painter, explaining King ‘isn’t actually COMMITTING treason, but he is fomenting and inciting it. Ample reason to expel him.’
Clay County Democrats, a county located in King’s district, tweeted the state would be better without him.
— Clay County Iowa Democrats (@claycountydems) March 18, 2019
Cornell William Brooks, a professor at the Harvard Kennedy School and former president of the NAACP, criticized King’s use of transphobic language to invoke the Civil War.
Harpers Ferry was the site of abolitionist John Brown’s raid of a federal armory, an attempt to begin an antislavery rebellion that helped spark the Civil War. The attack on Fort Sumter had the first shots of the war.
King’s political career began in 1997 when voters elected him to the Iowa Senate.
He has previously made claims and references to the Civil War. In 2018, he tweeted: ‘America is heading in the direction of another Harpers Ferry. After that comes Ft. Sumter.’
Harpers Ferry was the site of abolitionist John Brown’s raid of a federal armory, which helped spark the Civil War. Brown led the raid in support of an antislavery rebellion. The attack on Fort Sumter, meanwhile, contained the first shots of the war.
In 2016, he came under criticism for having a confederate flag on his desk.
Ironically, King’s state of Iowa was part of the Union.
GSN contacted King’s office, but they did not respond to inquiries about why King made the post.