Tucker Carlson dusted off his white privilege Sunday on Fox and Friends with this, “I am positive that people like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton do not deserve to be called civil rights leaders. They are not. They are hustlers and pimps who make a living off inflaming racial tensions.”
From the July 14 edition of Fox & Friends Sunday via Media Matters:
After Fox’s Geraldo Rivera inflamed racial tensions by calling people standing up for Trayvon Martin “race politics”, he then blew hard on the dog whistle with this disgusting tidbit,”The President gave the signal.” Impressed yet? Hey, Geraldo was just getting warmed up. Next we got, “You dress like a thug, people are going to treat you like a thug. That’s true. I stand by that.”
No word on how Geraldo defines thug, because it wasn’t very long ago that every white director in Hollywood was wearing a hoodie on set. Also, the entire Facebook crew. Oddly, no one shot them for being a thug.
But Geraldo had nothing on Tucker Carlson this Sunday. Carlson got his smug white privilege going full steam with this ode to propaganda – and it’s a beauty — do study it:
“I’m don’t know how I feel about George Zimmerman… But I am positive that people like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton do not deserve to be called civil rights leaders. They are not. They are hustlers and pimps who make a living off inflaming racial tensions. They know nothing about this. They’re not residents of Florida. They don’t represent anybody, they’re not elected to anything, they don’t have constituencies. The only reason they’re allowed to do this is because we in the press enable them by calling them civil rights leaders. Why do we do this.”
We won’t follow Fox down the rabbit hole they tried to spin this into, with Geraldo mentioning blacks being shot in Chicago and saying that’s the real civil rights issue – because there’s nothing like people who are not in your community telling you what is and is not a civil rights issue for you to really highlight white privilege. Sigh.
Let’s give Tucker a round of applause for a finely crafted “post-racial” argument that uses disguised racism and white privilege against its victims.
First he claims he might not like Zimmerman very much. Who does? The guy has a track record as a violent thug. He’s a liar. He’s a loser. Not much to like, especially for a right-winger like Carlson. Not a lot of exterior success with Zimmerman.
So now Tucker has established his “objective” stance.
Then he pivots for the deep dive, saying Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are not civil rights leaders.
Clearly, Tucker Carlson isn’t in the best position to judge who may or may not be a civil rights leader since he doesn’t support civil rights. That’s sort of like saying you think Miss California should have won over Miss South Carolina after admitting that you know nothing about beauty pageants and think they’re all sexist scams. Carlson has disqualified his own opinion.
And then we get to the meat of the right wing argument. You can’t have an opinion on the Zimmerman case because “you know nothing about this” “you don’t live in Florida” “you weren’t there.”
What a great argument on its face—it sounds logical enough. It sounds reasonable. Only, it’s neither logical nor reasonable. If you had to be there — if you had to be from Florida — to understand it, then legal experts all over would be silent. Then juries would have no say. Then judges would be rendered impotent.
That’s a clever way of masking the real argument and the only argument worth having.
The real argument is that you cannot claim self-defense when you initiated the confrontation through an aggressive action like following/stalking someone for no reason. The right wing is throwing bombs about Trayvon (and now Sharpton, Jackson, Holder, and Obama) in order to distract from this simple fact.
It is not self defense when you are the aggressor, when your aggressive, unwarranted actions toward another created the conflict. See, in reality, Trayvon is the person who had the right to stand his ground. And that’s what Tucker Carlson and his Fox and Friends patsies don’t want you to think about.
Instead, they want you to be questioning whether or not Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are civil rights leaders, and if not, they obviously have no right to voice their opinion.
For those who are keeping track, this is yet another great example of white privilege. The white male who giddily stood by one of his white reporters after he yelled at the first black president as the President was speaking in the Rose Garden also thinks he is in charge of deciding for black people who can speak on what issues, and who can be a leader/voice for the community and who can’t.
Calling civil rights leaders hustlers and pimps the day after a young black man’s murder has been all but excused, his life rendered less than, is the cowardly, rhetorical equivalent of wearing a white hood — only obviously none of these folks would actually wear a white hood in public. That would make it too easy to ignore them.
I don’t know how I feel about Tucker Carlson, but I am positive that people like him are not journalists. He is a hustler and a pimp who makes a living off of inflaming racial tensions. He knows nothing about facts and shows little interest in learning. He’s just here to inflame hatred against the first black president. (See how well his words work in reverse, even if they are ugly and unnecessary when spoken about a white man in a tie, eh?)
Well done, Mr. Carlson!