‘Designed to incite’: Tucker Carlson accused of stirring race hate by comparing Tammy Duckworth to the KKK

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Gustaf Kilander
·3 min read
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 (AP)
(AP)

Ilhan Omar’s office has slammed Tucker Carlson for accusing prominent Democratic politicians of colour of being racially divisive.

Jeremy Slevin, communications director for the Minnesota Democratic Representative, said the Fox News host was "putting prominent Black leaders on the screen and calling them the real racists. It is designed to incite."

The comments come after Carlson compared Illinois Democratic Senator and Iraq war veteran Tammy Duckworth to a former KKK leader and called former President Barack Obama a "racial arsonist" who “sows hate” and is “creating real extremism".

Carlson said on Tuesday night: "Ilhan Omar specialises in shocking recklessness. It's what she does. After the mass killings in Atlanta last week, none of which seem to have anything whatsoever to do with the race of anyone involved, Omar tried her best to make Americans hate each other even more.

"That's how she's repaying the country that rescued her from a refugee camp in Africa. Law enforcement, Omar said, with zero evidence of any kind, works to protect 'the humanity of [w]hite mass murderers'. What does that even mean? We have no idea, though obviously, it is bristling with racial hostility."

Mr Slevin added: "The worst is Tucker's constant claim that Ilhan should be 'repaying the country that rescued her from Africa'. She went from being a refugee to serving her country in Congress! I'm sorry she didn't use her f****** Swanson frozen dinner fortune to become a TV talk show host."

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A police spokesman said the Atlanta shooting suspect had had a "bad day" and was subsequently roundly criticised for trying to lessen the severity of the crime. He was later removed from the case, according to The Washington Post.The outlet also reported in 2019 that law enforcement has a "blind spot for white male violence".

Of the eight people killed in the Atlanta shootings, six were Asian women. Experts and activists say that's no coincidence and that the suspect's comments about sexual addiction "are rooted in a history of misogyny and stereotypes that are all too familiar for ... Asian American women," CNN reported.

Defending against accusations of slander, Fox News lawyers have successfully argued in court that Carlson's comments shouldn't be taken seriously, NPR reported in September 2020.

Later in his segment, Carlson went after Mr Obama, saying: "More than any other contemporary American leader. Barack Obama is a racial arsonist. He emerges at our most vulnerable moments to deepen the wounds that divide us. He sows hate."

Mr Obama put out a statement on Tuesday, addressing the deadly mass shooting in Boulder, Colorado.

He said: “It is long past time for those with the power to fight this epidemic of gun violence to do so. It will take time to root out the disaffection, racism, and misogyny that fuels so many of these senseless acts of violence."

Carlson said that Mr Obama had "managed to divide Americans a little more than they were yesterday".

The following night, he decided to go after Ms Duckworth, comparing her to former KKK leader Robert Byrd.

“Robert Byrd was the Tammy Duckworth of his day,” he said after a tirade about Ms Duckworth's move to say that she wouldn't confirm non-minority nominees, stating that she was angered by the lack of Asian American and Pacific Islander representation at the cabinet-level of the Biden administration.

She later backed down from her threat after the White House promised to hire a senior AAPI staffer, The Daily Beast reported.

Carlson claimed that Ms Duckworth and Hawaii Democratic Senator Mazie Hirono, who made the same threat, had “opposed the entire foundation of American civil rights law and then proceeded to attack the core principle, the main principle of our country".

"Here you have two actual US senators announcing in public they will deny jobs to people who have the wrong skin colour ... In their defence, Hirono and Duckworth are well known as the dimmest politicians in Washington," Mr Carlson said.

The Independent has reached out to Fox News for comment.