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Critics blast Tucker Carlson's immigration remarks amid border surge
Fox News host Tucker Carlson again sparked an angry backlash from critics who argued his monologue on Wednesday evening, centered on the surge of Haitian migrants at the southern border, smacked of racism and white supremacy.
"An unrelenting stream of immigration. But why? Well, Joe Biden just said it, to change the racial mix of the country," Carlson said after playing a clip of Biden speaking in 2015 about immigration policy."That's the reason, to reduce the political power of people whose ancestors lived here, and dramatically increase the proportion of Americans newly-arrived from the third world."
Carlson quoted Biden in the 2015 remarks as saying that non-white DNA is the "the source of our strength."
"Imagine saying that. This is the language of eugenics, it's horrifying. But there's a reason Biden said it," Carlson continued. "In political terms, this policy is called 'the great replacement,' the replacement of legacy Americans with more obedient people from far-away countries. They brag about it all the time, but if you dare to say it's happening they will scream at you with maximum hysteria."
U.S. immigration authorities have been struggling in recent days to contain and process a massive group of Haitian migrants gathered under a bridge in Texas. Republicans have used the episode as a cudgel to slam Biden's immigration agenda.
Carlson's assertions on the situation at the border were met with scorn from fellow cable news hosts, civil rights organizations and many social media users.
"By openly embracing the white supremacist 'great replacement' theory, which numerous mass murderers have cited in their manifestos, Tucker Carlson once again proved that his program poses a grave danger to our society. Fox News should fire Mr. Carlson and any other host who promotes these racist, dangerous conspiracy theories," Edward Ahmed Mitchell, the national deputy director of the Council on American Islamic Relations, said in a statement on Thursday.
"And for the record, this country does not belong to any racial group, nor does greater diversity harm any racial group. When America welcomes immigrants and embraces diversity, that's a good thing for everyone," he added.
John Berman, who hosts CNN's "New Day" and frequently criticizes Carlson and his Fox News colleagues, blasted the prime-time host for promoting what Berman called "not even thinly-veiled racism."
"I mean, you heard Tucker Carlson say it, 'replace,' what's a 'legacy American?' It rhymes with white," Berman said. "And so he's saying that legacy white people are being replaced."
Mehdi Hasan, who hosts a weekend show on MSNBC, accused Carlson of espousing neo-Nazi ideology.
"No, Tucker, it's in neo-Nazi circles that this policy is called the 'great replacement.' That's the rhetoric you're using," Hasan said. "Neo-Nazi rhetoric on primetime cable. And it's going to get (more) people killed."
Other Twitter users derided Carlson's remarks.
Carlson, the top-rated host on cable television, has on multiple occasions sparked backlash from critics for his comments on the coronavirus pandemic, race relations and bashing of U.S. military leadership.
Many advertisers have also pulled advertisements from his show, but Fox News has stood behind him amid previous calls for him to be fired.
Fox News did not respond to a request for comment.