Tucker Carlson doubles and triples down on prime time racism
On Monday night, Fox News’ Tucker Carlson decided to use his show to deliver one of his trademark racist rants, scaring grandparents everywhere into believing that looters and rioters were at their door, ready to steal their MyPillows. If Lou Dobbs, Pat Buchanan, and a Brett Easton Ellis 1980s yuppie bad guy had a child, it would Tucker. Tucker is freaking out as protests rage around the country, with calls for the defunding of police departments everywhere gaining real, actionable political traction. If the currently overmilitarized police apparatus in this country is made to protect anybody, it’s made to protect Tucker.
So during Monday night’s rant, Tucker tried to explain how the Black Lives Movement and the defund police departments movement are political moves to control the population. It’s a deep state-adjacent conspiracy theory catchall: Everything anybody does is a manufactured manipulation to take away Fox News viewers’ rights. Tucker’s angle boiled down to the idea that the “left” is calling to defund the police in order to replace the police with leftist Black Panthers or something, who will then—along with the left’s attack on Second Amendment rights—become the only armed group in the country. After that, well, it sounds like Tucker has been watching too much Birth of a Nation.
From here, Tucker explained how the never-ending powers that be—that are somehow not the conservative-controlled courts, or the conservative-held executive branch, or the conservative-held Senate—will not allow anyone to attack the Black Lives Matter movement. Here he ran through a bunch of people being racist and called out for being racist. At every point of his rant, he positions the protests as a revolution by some minority of Democratic operatives, not the millions of people of all races, colors, genders, and creeds who are standing up to the racist and fascist injustices of our state’s law enforcement apparatus.
To truly understand how cynical a person Tucker is, pay attention to the way his rants are always peppered with surreal statements of fact that are unbelievably factually incorrect. His audience, clearly enjoying the sound of the rhythm of his voice, can listen to sentences like “Democrats do not relinquish power voluntarily. Ever. Period. Republicans frequently do.” That’s a thing he said during his attempt to paint the Black Lives Matter movement as some kind of Bolshevik-esque insurgency, ready to throw old people’s bones into a cauldron.
“This may be a lot of things, this moment we are living through, but it is definitely not about black lives and remember that when they come for you, and at this rate, they will.” Tucker concludes. ”They” meaning Democrats, according to some racists. (Since the dog whistle over at Fox News was replaced with a bullhorn, most of us don’t attempt to parse nuance out of the stupid vitriolic bullshit coming out of Carlson’s mouth these days.) Tucker finishes by connecting the BLM movement to a swarm of hornets, saying that one’s natural reaction is to panic, but old-timey Americans need to remember to keep a stiff upper lip and this will pass, the same way those abolitionists and slave revolts and the Nazi Party in Germany did.
The grand irony of it all, of course, is that Tucker has been promoting the need for his network’s demographic of older Americans to sacrifice their literal lives to save an economy that doesn’t work for most people. This doublespeak comes out because of the failings of our current administration to protect the health of the country, and the Republican Party’s insistence on giving all of our resources to the top 1%.