After anti-racism activist Tim Wise advised white parents to speak candidly about white privilege to their children, Fox host Tucker Carlson distorted Wise’s comments to claim he said, “Happy childhoods are a sign of racism.”
On Carlson’s prime time show Friday night, he began by suggesting that anti-racism activists are like Stalinist cult leaders turning children against their parents:
CARLSON: Cult leaders determine what their followers are allowed to believe, even in their most private thoughts. In order to do this, cults separate people from all they have known before. They force their members to renounce their former lives, their countries, their customs. They'll have no loyalty except to the cult.
The first thing they attack always is the family. Families are the main impediment to brainwashing and extremism. That's true in every culture.
In 1932, Soviet authorities began promoting the story of a 13-year-old peasant boy called Pavlik Morozov. Morozov, they claimed had taken the supremely virtuous step of denouncing his own father to the secret police for committing counter revolutionary acts.
Once exposed as a traitor, the boy's father was executed by firing squad for the safety of the state. Joseph Stalin elevated this boy to the status of national hero for what he did. People wept in the streets when they heard his name. They worshipped him like a saint.
Carlson went on to suggest that that’s what anti-racism activists are doing. First, he showed a clip of a 15-year-old white girl saying “I literally hate my family so much” because “they are trying to tell me that [George Floyd] deserved that because he did something wrong, and that it was okay. That is not okay.”
Without bothering to offer any evidence, Carlson claimed, “There are many like her in America right now.” He later added, “She may have her own cult following before long. “Children attacking their parents is just the beginning.”
That was Carlson’s pretext for going after Wise.
CARLSON: But the revolution is young. Children attacking their parents is just the beginning. On CNN today, a man called Tim Wise told viewers that going forward, parents must hurt their own children.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TIM WISE, AUTHOR: I think that the important thing for white parents to keep in the front of our mind is that if black children in this country are not allowed innocence and childhood, without fear of being killed by police are marginalized in some other way, then our children don't deserve innocence.
If Tamir Rice can be shot dead in a public park, playing with a toy gun, something white children do all over this country every day without the same fear of being shot. If Tamir Rice can be killed then white children need to be told, at least at the same age, if they can't be innocent, we don't get to be innocent.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: Your children are no longer allowed to be innocent, says Tim Wise. Happy childhoods are a sign of racism.
Clearly, Wise was saying nothing of the sort. As he explained on Twitter, he was saying children should not be oblivious. “I meant innocence as in ignorance/naivete” he further explained.
That is perfectly clear in Wise's full response after he was asked when white parents should talk to their children about race and white privilege and how.
WISE: Well, you know, we started doing it when our kids were like probably six. I'm sure they hated me at the time for trying to talk about white privilege when they were trying to watch a Disney film.
But to be perfectly honest, it's a great place to explore it. The media, the things that our kids are being exposed to. And no, at first, they're not going to understand. But you keep coming back to it, you keep coming back to it in age-appropriate ways.
I think the important thing for white parents to keep in the front of our mind, is that if black children in this country are not allowed innocence and childhood without fear of being killed by police or marginalized in some other way, then our children don't deserve innocence.
If Tamir Rice can be shot dead in a public park, playing with a toy gun, something white children do all over this country, every day, without the same fear of being shot -- if Tamir Rice can be killed, then white children need to be told, at least at the same age. If they can't be innocent, we don't get to be innocent.
And if we would keep that in the front of our minds, then perhaps we would be able to hear what black and brown folks are telling us every day, and have been for many years.
As usual, Carlson pretended to want racial harmony while using that pretense to stoke up the opposite. After suggesting that Wise and other anti-racism activists want racial violence, Carlson went on to fear monger that they will cause it:
CARLSON: One mother in London where the cult is also spreading posted this photo on Twitter. It is of her daughter, on bended knee holding a sign declaring her privilege. The Culture Revolution has come to the West.
What will the effects of this be? This is just a moment. It will end. How will we feel about it looking back?
Years from now, how will that little girl with the sign remember her childhood? Her mother took Tim Wise's advice. She no longer has innocence. Will she be grateful for that?
It's hard to imagine she will be. More likely, she will feel bitter and used because she has been used, and it's likely that many children growing up right now will feel the same way.
Is there a single person who believes that this moment we're living through will end in racial harmony? That used to be what we wanted. Some of us still do want that. Is it even a goal anymore? It doesn't seem like it.
Instead, it seems like many in power, it's very clear, in fact that many empower are pushing hard for racial division, for hatred, for violence, and let's pray they don't get what they want.
Over the weekend, Fox News apologized for its disgustingly racist graphic showing that murders of George Floyd and other black men haven’t hurt the stock market. The network’s statement said, “We apologize for the insensitivity of the image and take this issue seriously.”
If Fox really takes racism seriously, it would never allow Carlson to deliberately inflame racial animosity and pander to white supremacists, as he does night after night, in pre-scripted commentaries that are pre-approved by a Fox producer.
You can watch this latest excerpt from Carlson’s June 5, 2020 White Power Hour, otherwise known as Tucker Carlson Tonight, below.