tags: Press Releases

Tucker Carlson Normalizes Racist Replacement Theory Despite Dangers to Democracy and Real World Consequences

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“Alarmingly, Republicans are staying silent or joining in.”

Washington, DC – It’s time for decent Americans to call out the Republican Party and right-wing media for normalizing the dangerous white supremacist Great Replacement Theory. The noxious notion that Democrats and Jews are trying to “replace” white people with Black and brown immigrants was cited as a motivation by the shooters at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh and the El Paso Wal-Mart. Yet instead of reining in its ugly racist conspiracies, conservative media figures such as Tucker Carlson and elected Republicans such as Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) and Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) are echoing and escalating these dangerous ideas. Some observers are beginning to speak out.

  • In a powerful segment on the Mehdi Hasan show on MSNBC and Peacock, the host called the Replacement Theory: “A conspiracy theory so vile, so extreme, so dangerous, it was kept far away from the rest of us, on the furthest fringes of the extreme of the far right … it’s a white supremacist story about so-called white genocide…And yet this year, Fox’s Tucker Carlson came along and thought, ‘hmmm, let’s bring this idea to the light, to a prime-time cable audience.”
  • As USA Today reports, The Anti-Defamation League is calling for the firing of Tucker Carlson for working to mainstream the idea. As ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt tweeted, “For @TuckerCarlson, host of one of the most watched news programs in the country, to use his platform as a megaphone to spread the toxic and xenophobic ‘Great Replacement’ theory, is repugnant and a dangerous abuse of power.” As the ADL official Twitter account noted, “‘The Great Replacement’ theory and its racist and xenophobic roots have served as the inspiration for multiple mass shootings and deadly attacks.” 
  • This morning Axios summarizes the recent GOP and right wing media embrace of the ideas in a piece titled, “A racist conspiracy theory goes mainstream.

Below, find recent examples of Republican and conservative media embracing the invasion and Replacement Theory rhetoric (running tally online here)

  • Tucker Carlson: On his program, on September 22, Tucker warned about Democrats’ plan to create pathways to citizenship claiming “in political terms this policy is called the Great Replacement, the replacement of legacy Americans with the more obedient people from far away countries.” 
  • Rep. Matt Gaetz (FL-01) tweeted on September 25 that Tucker Carlson “is CORRECT about Replacement Theory as he explains what is happening to America.”
  • Elise Stefanik (R-NY): On September 15, the third-ranking GOP House member Elise Stefanik (R-NY), ran Facebook ads to over a million users that read “Radical Democrats are planning their most aggressive move yet: a PERMANENT ELECTION INSURRECTION,” says one version of the ad, paid for by Stefanik’s campaign committee, that appeared Wednesday. “Their plan to grant amnesty to 11 MILLION illegal immigrants will overthrow our current electorate and create a permanent liberal majority in Washington.”
  • Sen. Lindsey Graham (SC) started running Facebook ads on September 25, fear-mongering about “an invasion of illegal immigrants.”
  • Donald Trump: At a rally in Georgia on September 25, Donald Trump warned “Democrats are well on their way to turning America into a third-world nation…our country is being turned into a migrants camp…Biden is thrown the border wide open and our country is being invaded by hundreds of thousands of people every single month.”  In a statement on September 19, Trump wrote, “Our country is rapidly becoming a cesspool of humanity. Murders, drug dealers, and criminals of all shapes and sizes are a big part of this massive migration. Tens of thousands of people are coming from Haiti, and now from countries in Africa, even more so now than South America.” 
  • Rep. Brian Babin (TX-36) was on Newsmax on September 23 falsely claiming, “they [Democrats] want open borders. This [Haitian migration] is exactly their strategy. They want to replace the electorate with a third world electorate.” The following day Babin was on FOX and Friends saying something similar, “they want to change America they want to replace the American electorate with third-world immigrants that are coming in illegally, many of them COVID positive.”
  • Rep. Louie Gohmert (TX-01) on Newsmax on September 23 “they are turning this country into a cesspool…its an insurgence, it’s an invasion, I know Democrats like to say that insurgence happened on January 6th but the FBI disagrees because nobody has been charged with insurgence, but this is an in insurgence.”
  • On September 21, three different Congresswomen tweeted hyperbolic warnings of a migrant “invasion”: 
    • Rep. Beth Van Duyne (TX-24) “#DelRio is in crisis because Joe Biden has purposefully destroyed our border, allowed this invasion to occur, and is endangering our national security. #BidenBorderCrisis”
    • Rep. Lauren Boebert (CO-03)The Biden regime just extended America’s border closure with Canada to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Meanwhile, our southern border is wide open and millions of illegal immigrants, many with COVID, are invading the country.”
    • Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (GA-14): “Joe Biden is responsible for the invasion at our Southern border. My articles of impeachment will hold Biden accountable!”
  • Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick: On September 15, Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick was on FOX News saying “In 18 years, every one of them has 2 or 3 children, talking about millions and millions and millions of new voters… This is trying to take over our country without firing a shot.”
  • Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-TN): On August 8, Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-TN) ran Facebook ads where he warned, “over a million illegal aliens have poured across our southern border. Now Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer are pushing for a federal takeover of our elections that will make it easier than illegally to vote. Every day this flood of illegal immigration continues we are allowing America’s faith in our elections to be compromised. We are allowing the very foundation of our American system to be eroded. 
  • Rep. Mike Johnson (LA-04): On July 26, FOX Business host Dagen McDowell said, “we see what’s going on here, it increases the voting base for the Democrats,” her guest Rep. Mike Johnson (LA-04) responded, “that’s right, we are not conspiracy theorists but that is the only thing that makes sense here.” Johnson continued, “they want to turn these people into voters.”
  • Rep. Scott Perry (PA-10): In a House Foreign Affairs Committee meeting in April, Rep. Scott Perry (P-10) said “what seems to be happening or what they believe right now is happening is, what appears to them is we’re replacing national-born American — native-born Americans to permanently transform the political landscape of this very nation.”

According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice, 

Tucker Carlson and Republicans are normalizing a radical and racist conspiracy theory that causes unhinged followers to kill innocents. There is a real world body count from El Paso to Pittsburgh to New Zealand. Donald Trump was resoundingly denounced for calling those who chanted in Charlottesville that ‘Jews will not replace us’ and killed a protestor “good people.” Now, Fox News is giving Carlson the platform to inject a similar message into the bloodstream of the American Right. 

Alarmingly, Republicans are staying silent or joining in. This goes beyond blue team vs. red team politics. This is a threat to the foundations of our democracy in a multiracial and multiethnic society. This is a trend that will result in violence. The complicity of those with the power to stand up to this is how fascism advances in America.