April 12, 2021


Republicans Are Out of the Mainstream on Race (WILLIAM SALETAN, APRIL 12, 2021, Slate)

Americans are divided in their views on the killing of George Floyd. But the biggest division isn't along racial lines. It's between Republicans and everyone else. This week, in an Economist/YouGov poll, 64 percent of Americans said police were "not justified in the amount of force they used" in Floyd's arrest, but only 41 percent of Republicans agreed. Most Americans said former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin should be convicted of murder, but only 31 percent of Republicans agreed. On both questions, Republicans differed sharply, by margins of about 20 percentage points, from independent voters and from white Americans as a whole. People who don't like integration, or who don't acknowledge discrimination, have consolidated in the Republican Party. And they're losing touch with the rest of America. [...]

In much of white America, Floyd's death provoked reflection about racial inequality. But those discussions don't seem to have permeated the GOP. In a Politico/Morning Consult survey taken a month ago, most voters said "Black Lives Matter protests over the last year" had "brought about meaningful conversations" about race relations. Only 25 percent of Republicans agreed. And there's a sharp discrepancy between the experiences of people of color--as reported in polls by those people--and Republican perceptions of those experiences. In this week's Economist survey, 82 percent of Blacks and 70 percent of Hispanics said relations between minorities and police were bad. But 63 percent of Republicans said relations between minorities and police were good.

Republicans often claim that their hostility to Black Lives Matter, which has an unfavorable rating of roughly 80 percent in the GOP, is about the movement's left-wing ideas. But in a poll taken in January, a plurality of Republicans also spurned the idea that "Martin Luther King's birthday should be a federal holiday." (Only 24 percent of Americans shared that view.) And when Republicans were asked, hypothetically, about a company endorsing "civil rights" in a Super Bowl ad, they were more likely to view the company less favorably than to view it more favorably.

Tucker Carlson's insecurity and the "great replacement" theory (HEATHER DIGBY PARTON, APRIL 12, 2021, salon)

Back in 2019, in the wake of the mass murder of mostly Latinos at an El Paso Walmart by a violent racist who quoted great replacement theories in his manifesto, Carlson declared that "white supremacy" is "a hoax" that is "used to divide the country and keep a hold on power." I wrote then about Carlson's affinity for the belief system that inspired the killing and explained the crude fundamentals of the theory:

[T]he "Great Replacement" theory is a big deal among white nationalists worldwide. Essentially it comes down to two intersecting ideas. They believe that "the west" is threatened by immigrants from non-white countries resulting in white people being "replaced." And the whole thing is part of a secret Jewish conspiracy to rule a one-race world. The Fox News "mainstream" American version doesn't fully embrace the second idea, at least not publicly. But they are all-in on the first one, cleverly couching it in partisan political terms as a Democratic Party strategy to deny Republicans (who are, as we all know, nearly all white) their God-given right to be a majority of this country.

You can see why so many Jewish groups were appalled by Carlson repeating his comments again last week, this time blithely insisting that "left and all the little gatekeepers on Twitter become literally hysterical if you use the term 'replacement.'"  Yes, people do get a little bit upset when major TV celebrities use their platform to sell anti-Semitic drivel to their viewers.

The Anti-Defamation League demanded that Carlson be fired, but there is no word yet as to whether any action will be taken. Just because these toxic beliefs have influenced the recent mass murderers at an El Paso Walmart, a Pittsburgh synagogue and a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, along with the Nazi marchers in Charlottesville Virginia who were literally chanting "Jews will not replace us" apparently doesn't mean that Fox News has a responsibility to not spread them further.

It's important to note here that the gunman in El Paso also criticized corporations, which made many observers scratch their heads at the time, but it shouldn't have. White supremacists who believe in the great replacement theory consider corporations enemies, but not for economic populist reasons, as I wrote at the time of the Walmart shooting:

They see anti-corporatism and environmentalism as necessary to save Western civilization, not because corporations are sucking the life from working people and killing the planet but because corporations and climate change are creating conditions that make brown and Black people migrate to countries with predominantly white populations. And among the "ecofascist" alt-right and the neo-Nazis, environmentalism is based upon reverence for "the land of your people" which explains the Charlottesville marchers chanting the Nazi slogan "Blood and Soil." Carlson hasn't gone that far but these people are all walking in the same direction.

Posted by at April 12, 2021 6:14 PM