Posted on November 25, 2020

Steve King Faces Backlash for Asking Kamala Harris If She Is Descended from ‘Slaves or Slave Owners’

Christina Zhao, Newsweek, November 22, 2020

Republican Congressman Steve King of Iowa is facing backlash online for asking Vice President-elect Kamala Harris whether she descended from “slaves or slave owners.”

“I’m reading that @KamalaHarris made history as first woman, first black woman, first Asian woman, etc = a boatload of intersectionality points. But Kamala, are you descended from slaves or slave owners?” King tweeted on Sunday.

The lawmaker’s remarks were immediately met with a barrage of criticism on social media.

“Thankfully, this racist monster will no longer be a Congressman in just 42 days,” New York contributor Yashar Ali tweeted.

“Who’s going to tell him how Black people got to Jamaica and how some of their descendants wound up with European blood?” MSNBC host Joy Reid wrote in response.

In the months before Election Day, viral posts on social media claimed that Harris was “a cop whose family owned slaves in Jamaica.” Harris’ father Donald did claim to be a descendent of slave owners, but many who shared the misleading claim failed to provide context.


Last year, King, who has made numerous controversial statements about race, was condemned by his fellow Republicans over comments he made about white supremacy. In an interview with The New York Times, the Iowa lawmaker questioned how language such as “white nationalist” and “white supremacist” became racist.