*This article of mine is published on Medium.*
You could say Tucker Carlson and controversy are well acquainted, but the racist and sexist content the Fox News anchor spews on his cable news show is apparently getting too, well, racist and sexist even for his network’s top brass.
To quickly recap, because there’s a lot of material in Carlson’s trove of racism and misogyny, he has landed himself in hot water in the past for saying everything from immigrants make America “poorer and dirtier,” and stating women are “extremely primitive” and “just need to be quiet” to his latest controversy: calling White supremacy in America a “hoax.”
Despite this statement being factually incorrect, it is also incredibly irresponsible of Carlson to say this in the wake of the El Paso mass shooting, which largely targeted Hispanic and Latino communities. Carlson stated on his show that like the “Russia hoax,” White supremacy was a conspiracy used to divide the U.S., and keep a hold on power. “It’s actually not a real problem in America,” Carlson told his viewers.
Carlson does not really tell the truth about much on his show, but he knows his comments on White supremacy in America are false, especially in relation to the killings that happened in El Paso. Not only does the FBI believe that the shooting was linked to a racist manifesto, but the bureau currently has 850 open domestic terrorism investigations.
Out of those cases, 40% involve racially motivated violent extremism, and a majority of which involve White nationalists. Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez even tweeted over the weekend that White supremacists were responsible for 100% of race-based domestic terrorism in 2018.
But aside from spreading false information, something that is the unofficial theme of Tucker Carlson’s show, it is ridiculous and peak gaslighting to have Carlson, of all people, dismiss White supremacy in America as a joke because he himself is a White supremacist.
That’s not just my opinion but an actual fact. Even the White supremacists think Carlson is a White supremacist. Amid this latest Carlson controversy, Donald Trump retweeted a racist clip of the Fox News host questioning the legitimacy of Rep. Ilhan Omar’s (D-Minn.) prior marriage, immigration status, and name.
And I think we all know, especially people of color, where Trump falls on the White supremacy line.
But we do not need Trump’s tweets to confirm Carlson’s racist ideology. I have personal experience with his racism and sexism after going on his show two (intellectually painful) times last year.
The first time I went on Tucker Carlson Tonight, he incorrectly labeled me as a “Climate Activist” during our segment about population control, a very racist and outdated theory that basically states that it’s the overpopulated Brown countries that have a disproportionately negative impact on climate change.
And if that wasn’t bad enough, I went back a few months later for a second time to really experience the depth of Carlson’s racism and misogyny. I was not disappointed.
During a segment on toxic masculinity, in which we were discussing whether John Mayer’s song, “Your Body Is A Wonderland” is an example of it or not, Carlson repeatedly interrupted me, yelled at me, and dismissed toxic masculinity as a “made up, dumb” feminist concept.
The irony of debating something like toxic masculinity with a toxic male like Tucker Carlson is that you are being gaslighted while your points are being dismissed. Here’s a man telling you that something doesn’t exist despite, ironically, embodying it.
I believe there are a lot of things Carlson says on his show that even he does not really believe, but if you watch the clip of our “debate” you can see how angry Carlson gets with me from the get-go. It wasn’t just about the topic, but that a woman of color was answering back to him and refusing to back down.
Just like the hate Carlson spews, the GOP and Fox crowd spew a similar combination of racism and sexism. I’ve seen it, I’ve experienced it, and when I see it being directed at AOC or the other freshmen congresswomen of color, I recognize it.
“White people have used White supremacy for hundreds of years to justify making the rules, allocating the resources, determining who gets to go to college, who qualifies for what job, even who gets to own land and a house, and who gets to vote,” Lucian K. Truscott IV writes in Salon. “White people have clung to Whiteness as evidence of their superiority and power. But now they turn on the television, and they see mixed-race children in cereal ads, and gay married couples in ads for car insurance, and Latinos looking at washer/dryers that are being advertised. If everyone around you is turning black and brown, how do you tell who’s on top anymore?”
Although Carlson’s “controversial” aka racist and sexist statements have cost him advertisers in the past, Fox News has stuck by its golden boy. Despite putting Carlson on a conveniently timed “vacation” amid his recent controversy, the network has stayed largely silent.
Whether or not they stand by him this time remains to be seen, but the larger challenge for Fox is facing up to its role in enabling and spreading White supremacy through their network. Will they, once and for all, finally take him off the air?
*This article of mine is published on Medium.*