Tuesday, May 17, 2022


Tucker Carlson addressed the Buffalo shooting last night on his Fox News broadcast.

He's a clever guy. He begins with whataboutism, citing crime figures from elsewhere in the country over the weekend, as if to say the Buffalo shooting was nothing special. He lies about the shooter's manifesto, knowing that most people in his audience can't find it on the Internet and won't ever read it:
You've probably heard this document described as a racist manifesto. But that's not quite right. It's definitely racist, bitterly so. Gendron reduces people to their skin color. That's the essence of racism, and it's immoral. But what he wrote does not add up to a manifesto. It is not a blueprint for a new extremist political movement, much less the potential inspiration for a racist revolution. Anyone who claims that it is lying or hasn’t read it.... It’s not really political at all. The document is crazy. It’s the product of a diseased and unorganized mind.... He writes like the mental patient he is -- disjointed, irrational, paranoid.
This is Carlson trying to get politics -- specifically, his own politics -- off the hook. He wants his viewers to believe that the document is full of incoherent tinfoil-hat ramblings, maybe about aliens sending signals through dental fillings. It isn't. It's a classic manifesto, self-consciously so:

But this isn't the most offensive part of the monologue.

As he's wrapping up, Carlson tries to position himself as the enemy of racism, a person who'd never dream of "reduc[ing] people to their skin color." He defines absolute race blindness as the only moral approach to politics. He says:
All race politics is bad, no matter what flavor those politcs happen to be. No race politics is better than any other. All of it is poison.
Carlson is literally saying here that there is no moral difference between Martin Luther King and Adolf Hitler. I know he'd deny this, citing the only King quotation right-wingers know, the one about "the content of their character." (Yes, it comes up elsewhere in the monologue.) He'd argue that King wasn't engaged in "race politics." But of course King was engaged in "race politics" -- what choice did he have? How else to fight racism except with "race politics"?

Carlson continues:
Race politics subsumes the individual into the group. It erases people. It dehumanizes them. Race politics elevates appearance over initiative and decency, and all the other God-given qualities that makes every person of every color unique yet morally equal to every other person. And above all, race politics always makes us hate each other, and always in a very predictable way. So let's say you were to make identity politcs mandatory in your country -- as they have. How could you be surprised when that leads, as it inevitably will, to white identity politics? Well, you could not be surprised. You did it, and it was always going to happen. And then what happens next? Nothing good. Race politics is a sin. Race politics always leads to violence and death.
So the real culprits in the Buffalo shooting were anti-racists. Anti-racism is the real killer, because anti-racism always kills.

Carlson goes on to suggest that anti-racism will turn America into Rwanda during the worst of the ethnic violence. Maybe he wants to scare his viewers into believing that we're already there.

Meanwhile, he pats himself on the back for being a person who doesn't practice "race politics," who's horrified when people are judged on skin color, and he suggests that his audience, and the real America, just want race blindness and always have. This is a devious monologue, as most of Carlson's monologues are. He's very good at twisting facts. In this monologue, he's at his most racist when he seems to be making his most pious denunciations of racism.

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