Tucker Carlson Defends the Racist “White Replacement Theory”

It’s the same theory that has inspired white supremacist mass shooters.

On March 13, 2019, dozens of protesters converged at Fox News' Headquarters to denounce Tucker Carlson making, racist, misogynistic and bigoted statements. Michael Nigro/Sipa via AP Images

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.

During an appearance on Fox News on Thursday night, Tucker Carlson defended the racist “white replacement theory” that helped inspire the insurrection at the US Capitol on January 6 and numerous mass shootings around the world.

“The Democratic Party is trying to replace the current electorate, the voters now casting ballots, with new people, more obedient voters from the Third World,” Carlson said on Fox News Primetime. “If you change the population, you dilute the political power of the people who live there. So every time they import a new voter, I become disenfranchised as a current voter.” 

Carlson assured viewers there was nothing racist about a racist theory positing “voters from the Third World” as “obedient.” “I mean, everyone wants to make a racial issue out of it,” he said. “Oh, you know, the white replacement theory? No, no, no. This is a voting right question.” This has the makings of a major GOP talking point going forward—white replacement hysteria being recast by conservatives as a defense of “voting rights.”

A montage from The Daily Show demonstrates the chilling similarity between Tucker’s words and those of the white supremacist shooters who killed 51 people in Christchurch, New Zealand, in March 2019, and 23 people in El Paso, Texas, in August 2019.

“This is ethnic replacement. This is cultural replacement. This is racial replacement,” said the Christchurch shooter’s manifesto.

“I am simply defending my country from cultural and ethnic replacement brought by an invasion [of immigrants]…a political coup by importing and then legalizing millions of new voters,” echoed the El Paso shooter’s manifesto.

The Daily Show calls Carlson “the new copycat.”

On Friday, the Anti-Defamation League called on Fox News to fire Carlson. “Carlson’s rhetoric was not just a dog whistle to racists—it was a bullhorn,” ADL CEO Jonathan A. Greenblatt wrote to Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott.

Yet Carlson was defended by Hillbilly Elegy author J.D. Vance, the self-proclaimed prophet of the white working class, who called Carlson “the only powerful figure who consistently challenges elite dogma—on both cultural and economic questions. That is why they try to destroy him.”

Vance was heavily ratioed on Twitter for defending white supremacy.

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate