Tucker Carlson may not be a white nationalist in real life, but he certainly plays one on TV. In August, for example, he parroted a popular (and factually wrong) story about South African farmers that's gone viral among U.S. white supremacists. That was an unusually loud slip-up for a man who's risen to fame on Fox News by being very coy: He's not racist, you see, he just has problems with immigrants, including refugees and the very idea of birthright citizenship. And that's because it's important to be open-minded. And for Carlson, open-mindedness means being super supportive of white supremacists.
In the spirit of that open-mindedness, on his show late last week, Carlson took aim at what he sees as one of the greatest threats to America as a whole: diversity. Diversity is bad, according to him, because people can only work and live together when they're the same. It's the kind of argument that's still shocking even in the Trump era, when the federal government is waging war on behalf of a dedicated white nationalist base, all the more so because Carlson used to be a Serious Journalist.
This isn't the first time Carlson has railed against the dangers of multicultural society. He's aired multiple segments calling politicians "diversity extremists" and asking, "Is the FAA sacrificing your safety for diversity?" You can watch the clip online if you're so moved. But you can also read it on Twitter, because on Sunday Carlson thought that repeating it emphatically line for line would make it less racist. Spoiler: It doesn't.
First of all, Carlson is making an idiotic comparison here. He's trying to argue that people who think racial and cultural diversity is good are also pro–corporate monopoly, which is strange because he's casting monopoly in a negative light as a justification for an ethnically homogenous community. The pros or cons (mostly cons) of communities have nothing to do with this conversation. Or less a conversation and more a series of angry rhetorical questions. He's also leaning on the same exasperatingly lazy argument that the right currently uses to justify racist talking points: It can't be racist because of free speech. Taking him at face value means that because the government cannot infringe on freedom of speech, it's morally wrong for observers to assess and criticize anything that Carlson says.
So let's look at what he says. Carlson never flat out uses the words race or religion or culture or anything that telling, because he doesn't need to. Nor does he have the nerve to come out and admit the logical conclusion of his point. If society and civilization can't function as long as people are forced to mingle with anyone with whom they don't "have things in common," then what? What does a person who believes that, as Carlson or his TV persona so adamantly does, think should be done about it? Racist poster boy Richard Spencer, who identifies as one of Carlson's fans and has argued that "immigration" is a useful placeholder to talk about race without getting called racist, has called for the U.S. to become an official white-only state through "peaceful ethnic cleansing," which is an oxymoron at best. It's hard to picture what else Carlson is advocating for with his "I only like people who are like me already" bullshit.
Carlson says that people who are critical of inherently racist arguments are only trying to "silence" him, and this echoes a lot of right-wing darlings who claim that the left uses accusations of racism to shut down conversation. And in some instances, anecdotally, those claims may be true. But that doesn't change the fact that Carlson is making a thoroughly racist, white nationalist argument for an ethnically pure America.
He just doesn't have the guts to admit it.