Last night, the nation was treated to yet another disgusting show of naked, unrepentant racism from FOX News’ Tucker Carlson on his show Tucker Carlson Tonight, a show that would be better named the White Power Hour if it wasn’t in competition for that title with fellow FOX host Laura Ingraham’s program.
Intent on avoiding any content related to the rapidly unfolding impeachment hearings, Carlson lazily went for the cheapest of staples of the Republican reactionary’s diet: trashing democratic socialist and progressive icon Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. This time, he brought on conservative “editor” Seth Barron to talk about why AOC’s district, home to 700,000 people, was “so dirty.”
As seems to always happen on Tucker, they decided the problem was immigration, deploying racist and tired “dirty immigrant” tropes to explain why one of the most densely populated cities in the world isn’t pristinely clean.
“Well, part of the reason is because her district is actually one of the least American districts in the country. And by that, I don’t mean that it’s not part of America, but it’s occupied by relatively few American citizens. A very high percentage of her district is, in fact, illegal aliens. Now, the way they inhabit housing there is such that they live in a lot of illegal spaces like basements, and many people live there, so they wind up producing a lot of garbage that the landlords don’t want thrown out normally. Hence, you wind up with a lot of garbage on the streets, you have illegal food vendors pouring their pig grease into the gutters. I worked out there, it can be a little gross,” says Barron.
Tucker Carlson guest says that @AOC's district is dirty and the reason it's so dirty is bc it's "one of the least American districts in the country … it is occupied by relatively few American citizens" pic.twitter.com/OOn6aiMt7L
— Andrew Lawrence (@ndrew_lawrence) December 11, 2019
Those assertions are of course absolutely preposterous and utterly reprehensible, and the New York City politician was quick to fire back at the pair of reprobates with a sharp riposte on Twitter.
“Immigrants are dirty” is a lazy, tired, racist trope.
Secondly, environmental injustice is a major motivation as to why we introduced and wrote the Green New Deal the way we did in the first place.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) December 11, 2019
White supremacy in the United States is animated and fueled with the complicity of capital; whether it’s shadowy, psychotic rich billionaires funding astroturf groups pushing a far-right-wing ideology, pouring millions of dollars into the war chests of professional racists, or funding openly white supremacist talk shows and television programs with their advertisements.
At some point, there must be limits to the phrase “just business,” and if American companies won’t willingly stop giving money to blood-and-soil white nationalists, our politicians need to be ready to take matters into their own hands. While there certainly is an argument for trying to reach FOX’s viewers through the one media platform they are willing to consume, giving attention to such repulsive lowlifes and their hateful screeds is far beyond the dignity of a woman like Ocasio-Cortez, and she’s absolutely right to shun them.
Colin Taylor is the editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.