GOP Congressman Steve King Faces Backlash for Asking Kamala Harris if She Is Descended From 'Slaves or Slave Owners'

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.

"My roots go back, within my lifetime, to my paternal grandmother Miss Chrishy (née Christiana Brown, descendant of Hamilton Brown who is on record as plantation and slave owner and founder of Brown's Town)," Donald Harris wrote in the Jamaica Globe.

A fact-check provided by Politifact found that there's evidence to suggest that Harris' did descend from a slave owner, as well as people who were enslaved.

According to The Atlantic, an "overwhelming majority of African Americans have white male ancestors, largely because of white male slave owners who raped Black female slaves."

Newsweek reached out to King for comment.

The Iowa congressman is among a small group of Republicans that have staunchly stood by President Donald Trump after Election Day, urging him not to concede to President-elect Joe Biden. Earlier this month, King, who lost his re-election bid in a surprise June primary upset, said that Trump admitting defeat "would be giving license to steal future elections, too."

In less than two months, State Senator Randy Feenstra will replace King, who served an 18-year run as congressman of Northwest Iowa.

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.

"I condemn Rep. Steve King's comments on white supremacy; they are offensive and racist—and not representative of our state of Iowa," tweeted Republican Iowa Senator Joni Ernst.

Steve King
Republican Congressman Steve King listens during a press conference on abortion legislation on August 23, 2019 in Des Moines, Iowa. Alex Wroblewski/Getty