Republican Iowa Rep. Steve King found himself accused of using his white privilege last week after he offered statistics that Democratic Louisiana Rep. Cedric Richmond didn’t like.
It all started at a House Judiciary Committee hearing where King brought up the high-crime rates of Central American nations that many immigrants hail from. King called the violence of countries like El Salvador shocking, but then pointed out that some cities in the U.S. have comparable murder rates.
“That shocking number in El Salvador, that 93.09 violent deaths per 100,000 — shocking until I looked up the data that was delivered to this committee from former member and stellar member Randy Forbes of Virginia, who had gone to New Orleans to examine the violent death rate and the crime rates,” the Iowa congressman stated. “And New Orleans, this was post-Katrina, and there the violent death rate, that was actually characterized as a homicide rate, in New Orleans was 90 per 100,000.”
The murder rate for New Orleans has since lowered to 44.8 per 100,000 — a figure that still makes it one of the deadliest cities in the country.