Fox News Channel host Tucker Carlson courted controversy last week by criticizing the Black Lives Matter movement in a segment of his program. The move resulted in several sponsors cutting ties with the show.
Carlson does not appear to be backing down, though, as evidenced in his recent on-air remarks likening the widespread protest movement to a “political party” Americans are being compelled to join or risk losing their jobs.
“The media, in their relentlessly fawning coverage, usually describe Black Lives Matter as an activist group or protest movement,” he said on Monday, going on to describe such rhetoric as “deception by understatement.”
“Not a collection of marchers”
According to Carlson, the movement is “not a collection of marchers with signs” or “a conventional political lobby like Planned Parenthood or the NRA.”
Instead, the conservative commentator argued that Black Lives Matter “is working to remake the country and then to control it,” insisting that it has become what might be “the single most powerful political party” currently operating in the U.S.
“Nobody says that out loud but politicians understand it perfectly well,” Carlson claimed. “If nothing else, they understand power — they can smell it at great distances. That is why they are lining up to bow before Black Lives Matter.”
Building on his assumption that the “leaders of Black Lives Matter are political actors,” he said it stands to reason that people should be “allowed to have any opinion” the want about the group.
He said that is not true, though, citing as evidence the case of a principal fired from a Vermont school after publishing a social media post that stated in part her belief that “people should not be made to feel they have to choose black race over human race.”
“Here is the first new rule”
“Imagine a world where you are punished for questioning the behavior of the president or for insulting your local mayor,” Carlson continued. “You probably can’t imagine that because it’s too bizarre. It is un-American but that is where we are right now. Black Lives Matter has changed the rules and here is the first new rule: No criticizing Black Lives Matter.”
The host’s opprobrium was not limited to Democratic supporters of the movement.
“Republican leaders brag about their strong conservative convictions, but mostly they just want to be on the winning team, whatever that is,” Carlson concluded. “That is why they pause before offending China. It’s why when Black Lives Matter tells them to take a knee, they do.”
It is clear that the Black Lives Matter movement continues to grow in the wake of Geroge Floyd’s death. Only time will tell whether the current widespread support is genuine and deep-rooted or, as Carlson would argue, merely a political calculation.