Tucker Carlson’s rhetoric tends to align with that of avowed white supremacists, so much so that it can be hard to distinguish the Fox News host from some of the nation’s most prominent self-professed racists. This has certainly been the case this week as he’s lambasted President Biden, and even Texas’s extremely Republican Governor Greg Abbott, for not doing more to ensure that nary a Haitian refugee makes their way into the United States.
In arguing against the rights of these desperate migrants, Carlson is pushing the idea that Democrats want to flood the nation with loyal foreigners in order to retain political power, and in the process destroy America as Fox News viewers know it. This idea, also known as the “great replacement,” is taken straight from the playbook of white supremacists, and as long as Carlson continues to host of one of the most popular primetime programs on cable television, it’s important to continue to point out that what he’s saying is based in racism, not patriotism, or reason, or, as he tried to claim on Wednesday, “politics.”
“In political terms, this policy is called the ‘great replacement,’ the replacement of legacy Americans with more obedient people from faraway countries,” Carlson said in criticizing Biden’s approach to current situation at the border, an approach that so far has involved flying planeloads of Haitians back to Haiti. This isn’t good enough for Carlson, who went ahead and accused Biden of trying to eradicate the white race. “This is the language of eugenics,” Carlson said of Biden’s rhetoric around the issue.
Tucker Carlson outright calls Biden's immigration policy a "great replacement" likens it to "eugenics." pic.twitter.com/K228CnNK1H
— nikki mccann ramírez (@NikkiMcR) September 23, 2021
“It’s unfortunate when that when prejudiced becomes political,” Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt told Rolling Stone on Thursday, referencing Carlson’s comments the previous night. “The ‘great replacement’ theory should be seen for what it is: a staple of white supremacist rhetoric.”
The idea of the “great replacement” — which Carlson noted by name earlier this year, as well — was popularized recently by Renaud Camus, a French writer who described African immigrants invading European nations in order to eradicate the white race. It’s since become a tenet of white supremacist groups in America. “It fits neatly with longstanding ideas propounded by the KKK and others like neo-Nazis about the United States about white genocide,” Greenblatt says. “They adopted it. They adapted it.”
In order to demonstrate just how neatly Carlson’s rhetoric fits with that of white supremacist groups, we’ve put together a list of quotes. Some were uttered by the Fox News host, some by avowed racists. See if you can tell the difference. The answers are below.
1. “The Democrat Party will own America and they know it. They have already begun the transition by pandering heavily to the Hispanic voting bloc.”
2. “An unrelenting stream of immigrants … to change the racial mix of the country, to reduce the political power of people whose ancestors live here, and dramatically increase the proportions of Americas newly arrived from the Third World.”
3. “Every time they import a new voter, I become disenfranchised as a current voter.”
4. “They are actively trying to disenfranchise us from the institutions that our ancestors created.”
5. “The founders were well aware of the importance that identity played in the make-up of a nation, and how fundamental it was to the future progress and success of that people.”
6. “We are becoming a displaced minority in our own country thanks to Democrat policies. They tax the hell out of middle class families who might want to have more children while paying for welfare queens to have five or six babies they can’t support.”
7. “We are told these changes are entirely good. We must celebrate the fact that a nation that was overwhelmingly European, Christian, and English-speaking fifty years ago has become a place with no ethnic majority, immense religious pluralism, and no universally shared culture or language.”
8. “This is ethnic replacement. This is cultural replacement. This is racial replacement.”
9. “They’re political success does not depend on good policies, but on demographic replacement. They’ll do anything to make sure it happens.”
10. “Why is diversity said to be our greatest strength? Does anyone even ask why? It is spoken like a mantra and repeated ad infinitum.”
ANSWERS: 1: From the El Paso shooter’s manifesto; 2. Carlson on Wednesday; 3: Carlson in April; 4: Nathan Damigo, founder of Identity Evropa; 5: Damigo; 6: “Unite the Right” organizer Jason Kessler; Carlson; 7: Carlson, in his book; 8: From the Christchurch shooter’s manifesto; 9: Carlson in 2017; 10: From the Christchurch shooter’s manifesto.
Carlson has been espousing white nationalist rhetoric for years, and though the “great replacement” is in no way a “political” term, it has certainly become normalized in right-wing politics. During an interview on Fox News last week, Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick said that in 18 years every one of the refugees let into the U.S. “has two or three children, [and] you’re talking about millions and millions and millions of new voters.”
Patrick’s rant came a day after Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), the third-ranking Republican in the House of Representatives, issued a similar warning in an ad put out by her campaign. “Radical Democrats are planning their most aggressive move yet: a PERMANENT ELECTION INSURRECTION,” the ad read, according to The Washington Post. “Their plan to grant amnesty to 11 MILLION illegal immigrants will overthrow our current electorate and create a permanent liberal majority in Washington.”
Several of Stefanik’s colleagues in the House of Representatives have made similar points about values eroding and the electorate becoming diluted. They’re not as explicit as Carlson in making their arguments, but give them time. “I think we’re living in a moment where people like Tucker are writing the talking points for elected officials rather than people actually analyzing what’s happening in a fact-based and responsible manner,” Greenblatt says.
Greenblatt went on to issue a reminder that this kind of rhetoric has real-world consequences. “We know where this ends,” he says. “The shooter in Pittsburgh invoked the great replacement theory. The shooter in Christchurch invoked the great replacement theory. The shooter in El Paso invoked the great replacement theory. That’s where this goes.”