King retorted that he was tired of efforts to blame “white people.” And then he took it a step further, as is the congressman’s wont: He suggested that white people are actually responsible for most of the good in the world.
King: “I’d ask you to 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?”
Host Chris Hayes: “Than white people?”
King: “Than Western civilization itself. It’s rooted in western Europe, eastern Europe and the United States of America and every place where the footprint of Christianity settled the world. That’s all of Western civilization.”
Another member of the panel, White House correspondent April Ryan, fired back asking, “What about Africa? What about Asia?”
Hayes stepped in to end the discussion with a rather pointed pronouncement.
“We’re not going to argue the history of Western civilization,” he said. “Let me note for the record that if you’re looking at the ledger for Western civilization, [in] every flourishing democracy you’ve got Hitler and Stalin as well, so there’s a lot on both sides.”
Hayes tweeted about the interview shortly afterward, saying that he was “pretty taken aback” by King’s comments, but that arguing over such a statement was “odious”: