Apparently arguing against the case for slavery reparations, Fox News host Tucker Carlson declared Tuesday night that the United States hasn’t been a “very racist country” since the Civil War because we now have a “ton of inter-marriage and even more immigration.”
Taking aim at a slate of 2020 Democratic presidential candidates for supporting some form of reparations, the embattled Tucker Carlson Tonight host brought on Jason Nichols, professor of African-American studies at the University of Maryland, to debate the issue.
Noting at the onset that he agreed that “slavery is America’s original sin and has had consequences that rippled through the centuries,” the conservative primetime star then swept aside the notion that today’s America has any substantive racial strife because people of different races are now getting married.
“It's not a very racist country,” Carlson insisted. “We've had a ton of inter-marriage and even more immigration over the 150 years since slavery ended.”
Carlson, currently under fire for making xenophobic and racist remarks during shock radio appearances years ago, appeared to be making the argument that reparations to the descendants of slaves are pointless in a society where interracial marriage is happening, and racism must therefore have been obliterated.
At one point he even referred to reparations as a “reward,” asking Nichols, “How would you decide who gets rewarded and who doesn’t?” (Nichols noted that reparations are meant to pay a “debt,” not to dole out rewards).
Towards the end of the discussion, Carlson also asked if reparations would put an end to talk about racism once and for all.
“If we did this, would the slate be clean? Could we try to become a less racialized society? Could we end affirmative action? Could we end preferences in hiring?”
This isn’t the first time the Fox News host has argued that racism isn’t really a thing anymore. Last August, on the one-year anniversary of the Charlottesville terror attack, Carlson claimed that “white supremacy is not ubiquitous in America” and it’s “not even a meaningful category.”
The United States has actually seen a steady rise in white supremacist violence and the FBI currently has about 900 active domestic terrorism cases open.
And that number may be lower than it should be.