Tucker Carlson’s warning on Thursday to his primarily white audience that the Democratic Party is “trying to replace the current electorate” with “voters from the Third World” is the essence of the dangerous white nationalist replacement theory. Essentially it tells white people that people of color are an inherent threat to their very existence.
Replacement theory has been cited as the motivating factor for various acts of terrorism and hate in recent years by angry white men.
Part of what makes this so alarming is that Carlson — who has one of the most-watched TV shows on Fox News — is now giving license to others in the right-wing ecosystem to openly embrace the cancer known as white nationalism.
Would you be OK with someone championing on American television the very same views that inspired members of the Islamic State group to wage deadly attacks? Most likely not. So why should it be OK when it comes to Carlson championing dangerous white nationalist theories on air?
On Tuesday, Charlie Kirk — a frequent Fox News guest and head of the conservative Turning Point USA, a pro-MAGA youth group — declared on his own show that Carlson’s view that white voters would be “replaced” by people of color was “factual" and "true.”
Replacement theory explains why at the 2017 white nationalist Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, angry white men chanted, “You will not replace us!” Carlson is simply parroting their sentiment, but he’s doing it in a suit and tie while on national TV. The TV host doubled down on this view Monday when he told his audience that “demographic replacement” is “the central idea of the modern Democratic Party,” adding that its goal is “to make you irrelevant.”
It’s no secret that white supremacist terrorism is on the rise in our country.
Replacement theory has been further cited as the motivating factor for various acts of terrorism and hate in recent years by angry white men: most notably, the horrific deadly rampage in El Paso, Texas, in 2019 where over 20 people were killed; the 2018 attack on Jews at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh; and the 2019 attack on Muslims in Christchurch, New Zealand.
You can also likely add the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol — incited by former President Donald Trump — to that list. A study by the Chicago Project on Security and Threats found that the most common trait of those arrested after the riot was that they hailed from counties with the substantial drops in white population. The root of the rage, per the study, was the fear of being “replaced” by nonwhite people — the exact theory being espoused by Carlson.
After blaming the Democratic Party for trying to replace Republicans with foreigners, Carlson ominously asked his audience Thursday, “Why are we putting up with this?” effectively ginning up more anger and fear that white people are on the verge of being “replaced.”
That is why Jonathan Greenblatt, the head of the Anti-Defamation League, took the unprecedented action of calling for Fox News to fire Carlson for his dangerous “open-ended endorsement of white supremacist ideology.” As Greenblatt explained on CNN, “Again and again and again, it is the replacement theory that's been invoked by … extremist murderers.”
It’s no secret that white supremacist terrorism is on the rise in our country. Trump’s Department of Homeland Security head told the Senate in September that white supremacists have become the "most persistent and lethal" internal threat to our nation. The Washington Post earlier this week documented new highs in domestic terrorism over the past few years “driven chiefly by white-supremacist, anti-Muslim and anti-government extremists on the far right.”
Just look at Carlson’s words on Monday when he warned his audience that “demographic replacement” was coming thanks to Democrats and with that “your political power, the power to control your own life, disappeared.”
Beyond his despicable attempt to normalize white supremacy, Carlson is trying to convince white Americans that any gain a person of color achieves is a loss of white power.
Carlson gave himself away when he revealed one group of immigrants that he appeared to approve of, saying, “If 200,000 immigrants from Poland showed up at our southern border tomorrow, Kamala Harris wouldn't promise them health care. Why? Simple: Poles tend to vote Republican.”
Actually, Polish Americans overwhelmingly voted for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012, although some appear to have voted for Trump in bigger numbers in 2016. But Carlson’s point was not about voting. It was telling his audience that Democrats don’t want white immigrants — only those of color — and that a Black woman, Harris, would stop those white people from entering America. (Note that Carlson chose Harris over President Joe Biden for that particular example.)
This is the same Carlson who declared in 2019 after the El Paso attack that white supremacy was a “hoax” and who later falsely claimed there was “no evidence” white supremacists were involved in the Jan. 6 attack, despite the arrest of white supremacist activists and white nationalist symbols from Confederate flags to Nazi insignias being flown by attackers.
Beyond his despicable attempt to normalize white supremacy, Carlson is trying to convince white Americans that any gain a person of color achieves is a loss of white power. He recently dedicated numerous segments on his show to smearing Biden’s nomination of Kristen Clarke, who if confirmed would become the first Black woman to lead the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.
Carlson parroting on his Fox News show the white nationalist replacement theory that the white race is “in danger of extinction by a rising tide of non-whites,” as the ADL put it, has no place in mainstream America. Period. This is not about freedom of expression.
Because the only question now is how many more acts of terror we will see by people inspired by the theory Carlson is championing before he finally stops spewing his race-baiting lies.