Congressman explains flap over 'white people' contributions

n this Jan. 23, 2014, file photo, Republican U.S. Rep. Steve King of Iowa speaks in Des Moines. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Rep. Steve King says he meant to refer to "Western civilization" and not "white people" in controversial comments he made on an MSNBC panel.

The Iowa Republican told the panel, "This whole white people business, though, does get a little tired. 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 are talking about. Where did any other any other subgroup of people contribute more to civilization?"

King told ABC News that he wouldn't back down from the comments, and that he meant that "Americans of all races stand far above the rest of the world."

The political dialogue on the matter was welcomed, he said, after a steady stream of reactions on social media.

"...we can open up more minds so people can think about what's right for America," King said.

Read more on ABCNews.com
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