The 5 Most Dangerous People in the Media Who Talk About Race (Yet Know Little About It)

From right-wing fringe sites to the New York Times, clueless white media influencers assume they know about race in America.

Photo Credit: Matt Gagnon / Creative Commons

Many racially charged issues occupy media space and time these days. From police shootings of African Americans to athletes protesting discrimination, conversations around race are likelier than ever to pop into your evening news. But sometimes, while watching these talking heads or reading their columns in the morning paper, you may find yourself wondering: Why on earth are these people qualified to talk about race?

We don’t know why either.

1. Laura Ingraham

Credit: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons

Ingraham spews a lot of nonsense on Fox News as a commentator, on her radio show and in her digital outlet LifeZette. Recently, she called the NFL players who kneel during the national anthem “punks." As ThinkProgress shows in its roundup, she has made a career of making offensive generalizations about disenfranchised groups: 

"On her radio show, Ingraham has attacked the pope for talking about climate change, railed against affirmative action, said 'the Muslims' never support 'the conservatives' on anti-LGBTQ issues, called Planned Parenthood a criminal organization, said many minorities voted for Obama because of his race, and suggested the U.S. should shoot undocumented immigrants who want to re-enter the country, among a litany of other hateful and fact-challenged takes."

2. Tucker Carlson

Carlson likes to downplay pressing racial justice issues while playing the victim on his Fox News show. After Democratic strategist Scott Bolden tried to explain that black and white citizens are “living in two different Americas,” all Carlson could do was protest “you don’t know about my experience.”

Nothing like a white man who calls a black person a racist for speaking out against discrimination.

3. Megyn Kelly

Credit: Commons

Much has been said of new "Today Show" host Kelly’s comical claim that both Jesus and Santa Claus were white—a claim that only hints at Kelly’s lack of racial education. As Slate summarizes, perpetuating negative and dangerous stereotypes about African Americans has been a theme of Kelly’s since her days at Fox News. Just because she’s moved to NBC, we shouldn’t assume Kelly has changed her ways. Barely two years ago she questioned whether black people wanted jobs and suggested that they don’t care about supporting their families.

4. Bari Weiss

Credit: Bari Weiss/Twitter

In a recent piece on cultural appropriation, new New York Times columnist Weiss dismisses cultural appropriation as part of “the most natural process in a melting-pot country like ours” and seems to have no empathy for artists of color whose work is often copied by white people without credit.

An excellent piece at the Intercept sheds light on Weiss' brand of commentary. Her favorite theme? Weiss frequently complains about the oppression she’s faced as a result of political correctness, like at her alma mater Columbia, where “being an outspoken Zionist made you fascist, supporting the war in Iraq made you an imperialist, and believing that some cultures are indeed more enlightened than others a hegemon.” Perhaps some of her more open-minded colleagues at the New York Times will point out to her that believing certain cultures are superior to others is the very definition of racism and Eurocentric thinking.

5. Grant Stinchfield

Texas conservative radio personality and most recently, host of the NRA’s “news” show, Stinchfield has lately gone reached beyond his territory of being a Second Amendment zealot to rant about everything from fake news to racial tensions. He believes that people of color are to blame for gun violence, and has said so plainly on Twitter:

NRA TV may still not be considered a “mainstream” outlet, thank god, but with almost half a million monthly viewers, a lot of people are hearing Stinchfield’s nonsense on a regular basis.

Liz Posner is a managing editor at AlterNet. Her work has appeared on, Bust, Bustle, Refinery29, and elsewhere. Follow her on Twitter at @elizpos.



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