Last night, in what seemed like a desperate effort to smear anti-racism and police reform advocates, Tucker Carlson misrepresented the words of Minneapolis City Council President Lisa Bender to accuse her of believing that “the desire not to, for example, have your home invaded by violent criminals is in fact a sign of racism.”
In his opening monologue last night Carlson fear mongered that uppity, lawless blacks are about to take over the country:
CARLSON: Black Lives Matter is in fact a political party. Maybe the strongest political party in the United States as of tonight. Its members believe they can reshape this country and so far, they're proving to be right.
This is the president of the Minneapolis City Council, Lisa Bender. Bender explains that the desire for safety, the desire not to, for example, have your home invaded by violent criminals is in fact a sign of racism.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Do you understand that the word dismantle or police free also makes some people nervous. For instance, what if in the middle of the night, my home is broken into, who do I call?
LISA BENDER, PRESIDENT, MINNEAPOLIS CITY COUNCIL: Yes, I mean, I hear that loud and clear from a lot of my neighbors. And I know and myself, too, and I know that that comes from a place of privilege because for those of us for whom the system is working, I think we need to step back and imagine what it would feel like to already live in that reality where calling the police may mean more harm is done.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Just like Carlson distorted anti-racism activist Tim Wise’s comments to claim he wants “parents to hurt their own children,” Carlson conveniently cherrypicked Bender’s words to leave out the part where she made it clear she has no plan to abandon public safety efforts. This is what she said immediately following what was shown in Carlson’s clip:
BENDER: And so in the very immediate, we have to lean in to whatever changes we can make in our existing police department. You know, I think we look to cities like Camden, New Jersey, that completely restructured their department, as we build up systems.
And we've already done that. We are not starting from scratch. We have invested in community-based safety strategies. We have knowledge in our community across the city. We've done an analysis of all the reasons people call 911 and have looked up ways we can shift the response away from our armed police officers into a more appropriate response for mental health calls, for some domestic violence calls, for health-related issues.
And so the groundwork is laid already in Minneapolis for us to build on that, to learn from folks around the world, but really also to listen to our community and put those community voices front and center, as we build up those systems even further.
But Carlson followed up the Bender clip with this bit of dishonest, fear-mongering mockery:
CARLSON: Hello, police. Armed men are breaking into my home. Help. Shut up, racist. Click. That's the world Lisa Bender is calling for.
How many people watching CNN this morning as they got dressed agreed with Lisa Bender? Sure, that sounds reasonable. Calling the police during a break-in definitely qualifies as racism.
It's hard to believe even among CNN's audience that very many people thought that it's so obviously nuts. On the other hand, it doesn't really matter at this point what the public thinks about anything.
Anyone familiar with Carlson’s white nationalism know what color he wants viewers to think those armed men breaking in are.
New polling shows that a strong majority of Americans support the George Floyd protests and say that policing needs to change. No wonder Carlson sounded so unglued! But clearly, it's Carlson who doesn't care what the public thinks.
You can watch Carlson’s latest unscrupulousness below, from the June 8, 2020 Tucker Carlson Tonight.