Earlier this week on his primetime show, Fox News host Tucker Carlson claimed that white supremacy is a “hoax” and “actually not a real problem in America.” This obscene comment came just three days after the mass shooting in El Paso, where a white man killed 22 people in a Walmart after writing an anti-“Hispanic” manifesto.
Carlson’s comments about white supremacy and the El Paso shooting are an attempt to protect the president, whose derogatory language and dog-whistles are parroted by the El Paso shooter in his manifesto. Carlson himself is complicit as he has a long history of making revolting comments about immigrants and people of color on his show. In fact, the talking points Trump uses often echo those put out by Fox News.
The language that Trump and Fox have been using for the past three years is putting vulnerable communities in danger. New research shows that Trump’s rhetoric has inspired a resurgence of violent hate crimes across the country, especially in places where he’s held rallies.
Free Press Action is an organization that fights for freedom of the press and media accountability, we know that words matter. Narratives matter. The narratives that Tucker Carlson and the president have been spinning about immigrants, people of color and religious minorities are fueling violence against these communities.
The El Paso shooter was targeting Latinx people. As if his manifesto weren’t enough to prove this, he told police that he set out to kill as many Mexicans as he could and that he staked out the Walmart looking for Mexicans before returning with his assault rifle. The majority of his victims were Brown (either Mexican, Mexican American or Latinx of a different nationality).
The shooter’s sickening manifesto echoes the language Trump and Fox News hosts use about immigrants, Mexicans and “Hispanic” people. As New York Daily News columnist Brandon Friedman points out in the chart below, “there are literally straight lines between what the terrorist believes and what is repeated daily by conservative media outlets and the U.S. president.”
Using the El Paso terrorist's manifesto, I connected the dots for folks still having trouble doing that.— Brandon Friedman (@BFriedmanDC) August 4, 2019
This is just the first page. pic.twitter.com/mQcW3doGNF
A disturbing pattern
The mass shooting in El Paso was not an isolated incident. According to Axios, white-extremist active shooters in the United States were responsible for 65 deaths in 7 episodes in the past 18 months alone.
As Vox writer Zack Beauchamp put it, “The El Paso shooter is not a fluke or an anomaly. He is part of a resurgence of white nationalist violence in the United States, a wave of killings that are themselves part of a very long history of political violence by American racists and white nationalists.”
While white supremacist Dylann Roof planned his attack on the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston for months, it’s not a coincidence that the actual massacre of nine Black worshippers happened the day after Trump announced his candidacy for president in 2015. And it’s not a coincidence that the El Paso shooter used words taken directly from Trump’s mouth to explain his heinous actions.
White supremacy is a huge problem in the United States. And it’s a problem that’s killing people. Comments like the ones made by President Trump and Tucker Carlson are part of what fuels it.
We don’t have to tolerate this. Now is the time for people of conscience to take action by hitting Tucker Carlson and his network where it hurts: It’s time to call out the advertisers that finance Fox News.
Last year, major advertisers began distancing themselves from Tucker Carlson’s show after he claimed that immigration “makes our own country poorer, and dirtier, and more divided.”
We think it’s time that the rest of his advertisers follow suit. Media Matters has compiled a list of these advertisers that it continually updates so that you can reach out and let them know what you think about their support of Carlson’s dangerous propaganda.
Sign our petition calling on Fox News advertisers to #DropFox. Let them know that you refuse to buy their products or services as long as they advertise with Tucker Carlson’s hate-spewing platform.
Carlson and other white supremacists may have a right to freedom of speech, but they are not guaranteed the privilege of a national platform. Use your freedom of speech to fight back against white supremacy by boycotting the companies that are keeping Tucker Carlson on the air.