Over the past few years, observers have opined at times that President Donald Trump’s words and behaviors have had the outcome of stoking racist sentiments among extremist white conservatives in the United States, sometimes resulting in violent acts being committed by those individuals.
But Fox News host Tucker Carlson has a different theory in mind over what’s behind the rise of violent racists — it’s criticism of white nationalism itself, including from television programs like “The View” that suggest conversations about white privilege are important to be having.
While engaged in a debate with Collective PAC founder Quentin James, Carlson, on his Fox News program “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” showed a clip in which “The View” co-host Joy Behar discussed the issue of white privilege, per reporting from Mediaite.
“I think that we have a problem in the country sometimes with white guys who don’t have a lot, who are struggling, and they don’t see themselves as having any kind of white privilege…even though you’re having a hard time, you still have a privilege if you’re white, even if you’re poor,” Behar is shown saying in the clip.
Tucker did not include, however, Behar’s words after those which he aired, in which she goes onto say that a deeper conversation about what white privilege is exactly is “where the conversation needs to go.”
Tucker Carlson blames The View for Dylan Roof pic.twitter.com/BOD6OIAr6t
— Andrew Lawrence (@ndrew_lawrence) May 1, 2019
After showing the truncated clip to viewers, Carlson resumed his conversation with James.
“Isn’t it time to stop with the racism and the white privilege stuff, attacking people on the basis of their skin color, can we just call a truce and just not talk like that anymore?” Carlson asked.
James countered by saying he wished we could go in that direction, “but with what we’ve been seeing under this president is a rise in white domestic terrorism, a rise in white nationalism, and so—”
“Do you have to attack white people?” Carlson interrupted.
Later on in the conversation, Carlson directly suggested that individuals like Dylann Roof were becoming more radicalized by criticisms from people like Behar.
“I wonder why” such people become radicalized, Carlson sarcastically mused, “when you have ‘The View’ being like ‘even if you’re really poor, we hate you because you were skin color?'”
Behar never said anything like what Carlson suggested she did, however, and there’s no indication that Roof, who was sentenced to death for shooting and killing black churchgoers in Charleston, South Carolina, ever watched “The View” before he committed his hate crimes, much less was radicalized by the programming from watching it.
On the other hand, critics have long lambasted Trump for his vitriolic and oftentimes controversial attacks against people of color or other minorities in the United States.
Although Trump denies any indirect responsibility for his comments inspiring acts of hate, an investigation by ABC News last fall dug up more than a dozen instances in which Trump’s name was invoked by an individual before they committed or threatened to commit a hate crime.