Fox News host Tucker Carlson on Tuesday claimed there is no white supremacy problem in the United States and that the very notion of one is a hoax created by the media and the left.
“The whole thing is a lie,” said Carlson, who has routinely given airtime to white nationalist conspiracy theories and talking points. “It’s actually not a real problem in America.”
“This is a hoax, just like the Russia hoax. It’s a conspiracy theory used to divide the country and keep a hold on power. That’s exactly what’s going on.”
It’s not clear what Carlson meant by “Russia hoax” given the well-documented effort by Moscow to undermine U.S. elections. It’s been detailed by the U.S. intelligence community and spelled out in the report and testimony by special counsel Robert Mueller.
Carlson also cited his own experience as evidence that white supremacy is a hoax: He’s never met a white supremacist.
“I’ve lived here 50 years,” he said. “I’ve never met anybody, not one person, who ascribes to white supremacy. I don’t know a single person who thinks that’s a good idea. They’re making this up.”
Footage of Carlson’s comments was posted online by Media Matters.
While Carlson claims white supremacy is a hoax, one of his favorite guests has said otherwise by actually defending the white supremacists.
Mark Steyn, a regular on the show, last year defended white supremacists over undocumented immigrants.
“The white supremacists are American citizens,” Steyn told Carlson. “The illegal immigrants are people who shouldn’t be here.”
The Southern Poverty Law Center said earlier this year that there are now 1,020 documented hate groups in the United States, a jump of 30% since 2014. The organization said 148 of them are devoted to white supremacist ideology, an increase of 50%.
Also this year, the FBI said it had at least 850 open investigations into domestic terrorist groups, with about 40% related to race and/or religion.