On a day that featured roughly a gazillion huge news stories, Fox News’ Tucker Carlson spent most of his Wednesday night program ignoring all of them. The conservative commentator, however, did find the airtime to address college courses that focus on white privilege. And he took the opportunity to badger his guest to say something racist.
After starting off the interview in standard Tucker fashion by asking Run for America’s David Burstein if he was surprised that “racist crap like this exists” in today’s America, Tucker then grew exasperated because his progressive guest said that white privilege exists. With Burstein saying that he felt it was apparent that more white people benefited from their privilege than blacks, Carlson accused his guest of being comfortable on making generalizations when it comes to race.
He then issued a challenge to Burstein.
“You just said that white privilege is real,” Carlson sneered at Burstein. “I’m serious. If we are going to have a honest conversation that you are calling for than I call on you to be honest and make a negative generalization about any other racial or ethnic group in this country. Go ahead. You’ve got the floor.”
Burstein said that he thought he knew what Tucker was doing with this exercise, leading the Fox host to say “you don’t need to think anything, I’m asking if you will you make a negative generalization about another racial group.”
Again, Burstein refused, saying he wasn’t going to be baited. Carlson shot back, insisting he wasn’t baiting his guest but instead wanted to know why he wouldn’t do it. Burstein replied that sometimes we use generalizations to discuss groups of people to better understand. Once more, Tucker attempted to get Burstein to say something offensive about another race or ethnicity.
“Hold on, I’m inviting you to make a negative generalization as you just did about one group about any other group,” Carlson said. “There are many groups in this country sometimes we generalize, I get it. You want to have an honest conversation, I get it. Let’s do that now on live TV. Again, why not you make a single negative generalization about any other racial or ethnic group? I give you the floor, I will be quiet as you speak, go ahead and do that.”
Eventually, Burstein noted that there are some diversity programs and initiatives that provide opportunities for Latin Americans and blacks. But that ain’t what Tucker wanted to hear. Nuh-uh. He wanted to hear something deliberately racist.
“You are missing the important distinction, this only goes in one direction and do bully people by making generalizations that are not strictly speaking true and if you are not on board with it you are a racist and then you get to attack those people,” the Fox host declared, smug smile intact. “That doesn’t apply to any other group which is itself racist.”
The two went round and round a bit longer, with Carlson contending that anti-white racism is a THING and Burstein likely coming to the conclusion that it was a mistake to appear on Tucker Carlson Tonight.
Watch the clip below, via Media Matters’ Madeline Peltz.
Tucker is asking his guest to "make a negative generalization about any other racial or ethic group in this country" that's not white pic.twitter.com/Suj4KGiRs1
— Madeline Peltz (@peltzmadeline) May 17, 2018