Nauseatingly racist Fox News host Tucker Carlson dismissed concerns about white supremacists as a “conspiracy theory” on Tuesday. This is a cruel lie: a white supremacist murdered 22 people over the weekend in El Paso, TX, after he had apparently written about a “Hispanic invasion.”
“The whole thing is a lie,” Carlson said. “If you were to assemble a list, a hierarchy of concerns of problems this country faces, where would white supremacy be on the list? Right up there with Russia probably. It’s actually not a real problem in America. The combined membership of every white supremacist organization in this country would be able to fit inside a college football stadium.”
He added, “I mean, seriously, this is a country where the average person is getting poorer, where the suicide rate is spiking—‘white supremacy, that’s the problem’—this is a hoax. Just like the Russia hoax, it’s a conspiracy theory used to divide the country and keep a hold on power. That’s exactly what’s going on.”
Clearly, the problem of white supremacy is not a conspiracy. The Southern Poverty Law Center tracks approximately 1,020 extremist groups in America and estimates that there are 5,000 and 8,000 people who are members of the Ku Klux Klan alone. Plus, it’s impossible to know the number of people who have become radicalized online. Racism is a poison throughout the country—and throughout its history.
On Fox, Carlson continued: “White supremacy—you know, I’ve lived here 50 years, I’ve never met anybody—not one person—who ascribes to white supremacy. I don’t know a single person who thinks that’s a good idea. I don’t—I mean, they are making this up, and it’s a talking point which they are using to help them in this election cycle, obviously, because Russia died.”
It’s another absolutely grotesque performance by Carlson, who only has to look in a mirror if he wants to meet a white supremacist. The deflection is understandable, though, given the clear parallels between Carlson’s rhetoric and that of the El Paso shooter. He, like other racists trying to turn bigotry into a lucrative grift, has jumped to deny white supremacy’s existence as if it could insulate him from any accusations of his most definable trait, hatred.
White supremacy is why there are children in concentration camps at the border and why a gunman murdered 11 people at a synagogue in Pittsburgh. It’s why there are so many black people in prisons. It’s why three black Louisiana churches were set on fire in April. It’s why Heather Heyer was killed.
Carlson has a huge platform on Fox News, and it lets him normalize hate. White supremacists are not just having an intellectual debate; they talk about violence and they act out on their violent ideas. The more toxic racism Carlson spouts, the more blood he will have on his hands.