Two days after a white supremacist shot in Buffalo and killed 10 people and wounded three, most of whom were Black, Fox News host Tucker Carlson declared that “All lives matter.”
In his Monday night monologue, Carlson dared not mention the Great Replacement Theory, though he has spoken about it several times before—and the Buffalo shooter’s screed indicates he was inspired by it. (The conspiracy theory asserts that liberal politicians are trying to replace white Americans with immigrants because they’re more likely to vote for them.) Instead, Carlson used the tragedy to complain about what he called the “ruthlessness and dishonesty of our political leadership” and how those in power want to silence people like himself.
Payton Gendron, who was taking into custody after the shooting, “was the heir to Donald Trump, they told us. And for that reason, it follows logically, we must suspend the First Amendment. That’s hardly an exaggeration of what they are saying,” Carlson said, exaggerating as usual.
“What is hate speech? Speech that our leaders hate,” Carlson said earnestly after playing a clip of commentators pointing out the limits of First Amendment rights. “Because one mentally ill teenager murdered strangers, you cannot be allowed to express your political views out loud. That is what they are telling you. That is what they wanted to tell you for a long time, but Saturday’s massacre gives the pretext and justification.”
Carlson acknowledged that the suspect’s motivations were “definitely racist,” but rather than explore the issue, the Fox host essentially suggested that Americans should stop talking about race so much. As an example, Carlson cited how after the Rwandan genocide in the 1990s, that country’s government did not include ethnic classifications in its 2003 constitution.
The result, Carlson said: “There have been no more genocides in Rwanda.”
“That could easily be the path forward for this country too,” Carlson claimed. “There is only one answer to rising racial tension, and that is to de-escalate and do what we have done and what we’ve tried to do for hundreds of years, which is work toward color-blind meritocracy and treat people as human beings created by God rather than as faceless members of interest groups that might benefit some political party,” Carlson said.
“We have a moral duty to do this,” he continued, “because all people have equal moral value, no matter what they look like. All lives matter, period.” Then, for good measure, Carlson referenced Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous quotation about the content of one’s character.
President Joe Biden, on the other hand, is engaging in “race politics,” Carlson said.
Carlson quoted from a political report stating that Biden doesn’t recognize the GOP, which he now sees as “an existential threat to the nation’s democracy.” Carlson then told viewers, “This threat that Biden is referring to is you.” When Biden visits Buffalo on Tuesday, Carlson predicted, he “is likely to use racial wounds in order to make his point.” Doing so would be so bad, Carlson claimed, that actually “there is no behavior worse.”
“Race politics always makes us hate each other, and always in a very predictable way,” he said. “How could you be surprised when [identity politics] leads to white identity politics? You couldn’t 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.”