Recently there have been reports from Iowa Tourism that some people who were thinking of visiting my fine state have changed their minds. Why? Because of recent awful, racist statements made by 4th District Congressman Steve King.
I’m here to tell you is to come visit Iowa anyway. I’m here to assure you that Steve King absolutely does NOT represent the values of most Iowans in any way, shape or form.
As a state, Iowa has a long, proud history of progressive social policies. A few highlights- Iowa was the second state in the nation to decriminalize interracial marriage. The University of Iowa was the first American college to open degree programs to women. Iowa was the first state to allow married women to hold property in their own name. Iowa was one of the first states to have a civil rights act passed (in 1884!). Iowa was the second state in the nation to greenlight marriage equality.
As individuals, we Iowans are truly Midwest nice. We know our neighbors by name and have probably bought more than a couple fundraising items from neighborhood kids. We smile at strangers. You can find us at high school sporting events even if we don’t have any kids on the team. We have many churches, synagogues, and mosques. We have grocery stores where kids will help you put your items in your car.
How does a state full of folks this nice keep electing an embarrassment like Steve King- a man best known for his racist and /or sexist and/ or homophobic rants? That is a question that many people have attempted to answer. I certainly wish I knew!
What I DO know is that when you come to Iowa you will see for yourself what I’ve known for years – Iowans are good, kind people who welcome folks of all colors, religions, etc. to our fine state, whether it be for a day or for a lifetime.
So please, come visit us. We’ll be looking forward to it.