Tucker Carlson is a man who’s never been afraid of tackling sacred cows, but when the Fox News host waded into the South Africa land appropriation issue last Wednesday night, even he was likely not prepared for the backlash he was about to endure.
Indeed, Carlson’s Wednesday segment calling South African President Cyril Ramaphosa "a racist" and decrying the U.S. State Department’s lackluster response to the spectre of uncompensated land grabs and the ongoing slaughter of (mostly) white South African farmers brought the ire of all the ‘Usual Suspects,’ including the Anti-Defamation League, Right Wing Watch, the establishment media, liberals of all stripes, and even the South African government itself.
Because if you take umbrage at the targeting of white people because of their race, you must be a “white nationalist,” or something.
But the wailing and gnashing of teeth hit a stratospheric level when President Trump himself, a regular Tucker Carlson Tonight viewer, promised via tweet to look into the issue along with a mention for Carlson and Fox News.
Needless to say, if it hadn’t happened before, liberal heads were definitely exploding all over the place now. And predictably, they played the “R-word” with gusto.
“White farmers: how a far-right idea was planted in Donald Trump's mind,” read the Guardian headline, as if white people being murdered and displaced is somehow only a “far right” concern. (To the Guardian - To paraphrase something my mother said a time or two - If the “far right” were against jumping off bridges, would you be for it?”)
“WTF,” tweeted David Rothkopf. “Seriously, WTF. The president, who doesn't know where South Africa is and wonders when they changed the name from South Shithole is concerned about the appropriation of land from 'white farmers'?! Down deep beneath his racist veneer are many layers of even deeper racism.”
“Cool that Tucker Carlson is acting as direct pathway communicating narratives between white nationalists and the President of the United States,” tweeted Reveal’s Aaron Sankin.
HuffPost’s Jessica Schulberg called Trump’s tweet a “blatant nod to white nationalists in South Africa.”
The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple, who mockingly calls Carlson’s show “White Grievance Tonight,” noted a couple of minor differences in the Fox News host’s Wednesday and Thursday broadcasts, one of which included a stunning revelation by Wemple himself.
“And whereas Carlson on Wednesday accused Ramaphosa of changing the country’s constitution to facilitate stealing, here’s how he phrased matters on Thursday night: ‘The president of the country, Cyril Ramaphosa, has pledged to change South Africa’s Constitution in order to legalize the seizure of property without compensation. That’s currently being debated in the Parliament in South Africa.’ Sounds like democracy in action.”
Did you catch that last sentence? - “Sounds like democracy in action.”
In other words, The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple is totally cool with “democracy” “acting” to steal people’s land without compensation.
At least we know where he stands.
There’s plenty more, but you get the picture. Only “white nationalists” and “racists” are against South African farm murders and taking people’s land without compensation, because only “white nationalists” and “racists” would be concerned that the victims this time happen to be white people and seem to be targeted simply because of that one immutable characteristic.
By that logic, should those us concerned when blacks are victimized on the basis of race be considered “black nationalists?”
Carlson himself spoke to the double-standard the next day.
“As land seizures based on skin color shows, South Africa is once again becoming a place where an entire group of people is targeted for discrimination and violence on the basis of their skin color,” Carlson said on Thursday as he addressed some of the blowback from his previous day’s segment. “We oppose that obviously. It was wrong 25 years ago, it is wrong now.”
"In the west, we punish only the guilty. We do not punish their descendants or everyone with the same hair and eye color ... No one is alleging that the individual farmers in South Africa stole their land, they're saying that people who resemble them, [hundreds of years ago] did, and that is enough,” he continued. “The elites see no problem with this standpoint, and that should worry you. A lot."
By the logic liberal elites and the South African would-be land grabbers employ, the United States should give all its land back to the descendants of Native Americans. Hell, maybe Israel should find out who the descendants of the Canaanite tribes are so they can give their land back too.
"This is not an appeal to a racial group," Carlson told the Chicago Tribune Friday in an interview. "This is an appeal to universal principles that protect all racial groups that are true regardless of people's color. We don't mete out justice based on what people look like."
The Tribune piece, entitled “Fox's Tucker Carlson stunned by reaction to stories on South Africa,” goes on to paint the issue as a “white nationalist” one alone. But Carlson had a comeback for that too - “Joseph Stalin loved his daughter. I love my daughters. Does that make me a Stalinist? That's such a stupid question I don't know what to say.”
Predictably, none of the media hand-wringers gave the Fox News host a modicum of credit for also opposing Apartheid:
"Everyone in the country understands what these are, they're racial attacks,” Carlson said on his show. “OK say defenders of the South African government in this country, the [white] South African government also seized land on racial grounds. That is absolutely true, they did do that. And it is one of the reasons so many decent people opposed Apartheid. Apartheid was evil and wrong.”
“Things have changed though,” he added. “Now our elites endorse the idea of a racial spoils system, and that is the scariest part. Our ruling class now believes in collective punishment. That is the opposite of justice."
It’s also the opposite of human decency, given that these vilified “white farmers” generally aren’t out there robbing, raping, murdering, and running drugs. Instead they are, you know, FEEDING the entire freaking country.
Sadly, people who draw comparisons to Zimbabwe aren’t far off. The Daily Caller’s Chris White reported that country’s similar land confiscation effort “destroyed the country’s once thriving agricultural sector and forced the government to rely on international aid to feed 25 percent of its population,” resulting in a $12 billion decline in agricultural revenue between 2000 and 2009.
None of that will matter to liberals, of course, because to them, the perception of being against murdering white people and taking their land for free is far worse than actual starving black children.
Though they’ll often defend the land grabs, it’s hard for even a liberal to defend the outright farm murders, at least vocally. So instead they cite reports, like this one by AgriSA, saying farm attacks are “down” to “only” 561 attacks and 47 murders (of course, “down” also are the numbers of farmers - you know, what with all the rapes and gruesome murders and all), still making the job of being a South African farmer literally the “most dangerous job in the world.”
As to exactly how many, DailyMail reports that “none of the figures can be verified because the South African government has refused to release farm murder statistics since 2007. Some of the killings are reported to have been barbaric, with farm owners tortured, raped, burned alive and slaughtered in front of their families.”
But even so, it’s a “conspiracy theory” to say white people are being persecuted, despite the above evidence ... and the below quote from a prominent South African leader:
“I’m saying to you, we’ve not called for the killing of white people, at least for now. I can’t guarantee the future,” South African politician and leader of the country’s third largest political party Julius Malema told Turkish media earlier this year in a clip played by Carlson. Further, the man who once said he wants to “cut the throat of whiteness” responded with a hearty "cry babies, cry babies!" when asked if he understood that his statement could be considered a call to genocide.
Move along. There’s nothing to see here, and you’d better shut up. You wouldn’t want someone to call you a “white nationalist,” now would you?