Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Carlson Makes Oliver's Point

John Oliver devoted his "main story" on Sunday's "Last Week Tonight" to proving that Fox News' Tucker Carlson is a white supremacist. He is a particularly dangerous one, Oliver argued (at 2:00 of the video below), because "he is the most prominent vessel in America for white supremacist talking points."

That virtually inescapable observation stems from Carlson's sleight of (verbal) hand, wherein, Oliver notes

conveniently for him (he) doesn't fit neatly into a lot of people's perception of white supremacist, especially if they share his definition that it must require burning crosses, Klan hoods, and a name tag  that says "hello, my name is a racist."

It should require quite a bit, however, most of which Oliver laid out Sunday. Fortunately for us, Carlson made it even clearer Tuesday in his own commentary, delivered from El Salvador in San Salvador, one of the three nations from which a huge number of refugees and prospective immigrants have traveled to our southern border. Presumably, the piece was about this crisis, and Carlson railed against the current Administration's "humane" (curiously, his term) policy which he vehemently maintained has caused this plight.

Presumably, because Carlson went on to talk about "the gender studies department at a community college" (don't ask), gold allegedly being hoarded by the Spanish government, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Then, after these seemingly disconnected comments, at 7:15 of the video below Carlson took a sharp, dangerous term upon remarking

We hope the good people of Central America are ready for the Democratic Party's version of humanity and compassion. They might want to take a quick field trip to Baltimore just to see how it works out in the end. In 2018 the city of Baltimore recorded a higher murder rate than the nation of El Salvador or for that matter the countries of Honduras, Guatemala, or Afghanistan even, and yet no one thought to call FEMA to help the people of Baltimore. Somebody should have no one from Baltimore was offered asylum in El Salvador- and by the way if they are offered it they should strongly consider accepting because it's much safer to live with MS-13 than it is to live in Baltimore.

It would be far safer to go to Honduras in 2018. Thirty of the 298 municipalities in Honduras reported no murders at all; same in Guatemala and in fact here in El Salvador where 14 municipalities reported zero murders. That is a massive improvement over so many of our cities so here's an idea if you're telling us that parts of Central America are so dangerous that crime constitutes a humanitarian crisis and that's exactly what the Biden administration is claiming, then why not just move the people of El Salvador or Honduras or Guatemala to safer parts of their own countries. Has that even occurred to any of the professional compassion merchants in the Biden Administration?

There was no mention of generations of segregation; redlining; job discrimination; inconsistent, sometimes racially-biased law enforcement; proliferation of firearms, often transported into cities; a regressive tax system in most states; transportation priorities tilted toward suburban/rural areas and away from the needs of cities (especially Baltimore); a health care system prioritizing profit over people; and, yes, a denial of reproductive freedom

Unless he has been living under a rock for decades, Tucker Carlson knows all these- and more- have played a role in exploding income and wealth inequality and sequestering America's poor, disproportionately minority, into major cities.

His was not a commentary about immigration but one focused on ethnicity. If Carlson is not a charlatan- a highly questionable assumption- there is one reason he simultaneously slams, with gobs of contempt, immigration and cities such as Baltimore and (as he also name-checked) Detroit, Gary, Indiana, and Newark, NJ.  Carlson wasted no effort trying to link Democratic immigration policy to the problems besetting such cities because he obviously recognizes that there is one thing, and one thing only, linking them. That one thing is, depending upon one's characterization, color or race: white vs. non-white.

Of course, Tucker Carlson's wet dream is to chase residents of Baltimore, citizens of the USA, to El Salvador, home to widespread poverty and rampant gang violence. They don't belong here, he (un) reasons, because only some people do. John Oliver's timing was impeccable.

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