More than 14,000 Haitian refugees seeking asylum in the U.S. have been stopped at the U.S.-Mexico border, and Carlson devoted his Wednesday night show to racist fearmongering about them.
President Joe Biden wants to “change the racial mix of the country,” Carlson claimed during a segment on the migrants from Haiti, a country that has experienced both a devastating earthquake and a presidential assassination this summer.
Carlson was referring to comments Biden made as vice president at a 2015 summit on terrorism. There, Biden applauded the diversity of the U.S., noting that the early days of the country’s history were shaped by an “unrelenting stream of immigration,” and saying the projection that white people would one day be a minority in the U.S. was “not a bad thing.”
“Folks like me who are Caucasian, or European descent ― for the first time in 2017, we’ll be an absolute minority in the United States of America,” Biden said in his 2015 remarks. “Fewer than 50% of the people in America from then and on will be white European stock. That’s not a bad thing. That’s a source of our strength.”
Biden added that the country has “a lot of experience integrating communities into the American system, the American dream.”
“It’s not merely that we’re a melting pot, but we’re proud to be a melting pot,” he said.
Carlson, apparently, is not proud to be in the melting pot. On his show, the Fox News host attacked Biden’s comments by invoking the white supremacist “great replacement” conspiracy theory, a belief that immigrants of color are intentionally flooding the U.S. and European countries to change their racial makeup and push white people to the margins.
“Biden went further and said non-white DNA is, quote, ‘the source of our strength,’” Carlson said Wednesday. “Imagine saying that. This is the language of eugenics. It’s horrifying. But there’s a reason Biden said it: In political terms, this policy is called the ‘great replacement,’ the replacement of legacy Americans with more obedient people from faraway countries.”
Carlson failed to mention that rather than giving Haitian asylum seekers entry into the U.S., Biden’s administration has been rapidly deporting thousands of them in what may be a violation of international law.
Fox News did not respond to a request for comment.
Carlson also brought his racist “great replacement” rhetoric to the air in April, when he falsely claimed the Democratic Party was attempting to bring “obedient voters from the Third World” into the country.
“Let’s just say it: That’s true,” Carlson said at the time.
Where Carlson might once have winked at white supremacist ideology, he was now fully embracing its tenets, with many racists applauding his explicit reference to the conspiracy theory. As HuffPost’s Chris Mathias pointed out at the time, the notion of a “great replacement” conspiracy has been cited by some of the most deadly white supremacists of our time:
This is a conspiracy theory cited in the writings of some of the worst white nationalist mass murderers in recent history, including men who killed 51 Muslim worshippers at mosques in New Zealand; 22 mostly Latino people at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas; and 11 Jewish worshippers at a Pittsburgh synagogue.
When neo-Nazis marched through Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017 with tiki torches, they too invoked the “great replacement,” chanting, “They will not replace us,” and “Jews will not replace us.” Proponents of the “great replacement” believe Jews are responsible for hastening nonwhite immigration.
Carlson made his April comments less than a year after Fox News fired his head writer, Blake Neff, after CNN uncovered that Neff had been posting racist and sexist messages on an online forum for years. Carlson had previously called Neff “a great writer.”
The “great replacement” conspiracy theory has made its way into the talking points of some right-wing politicians, including Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), who claimed the Black Lives Matter protests last year were part of “an attempted cultural genocide,” and who said on Fox News that “the left wants us to be ashamed of America so that they can replace America.”
And on Thursday, Rep. Brian Babin (R-Texas) repeated Carlson’s Wednesday night “great replacement” argument nearly verbatim.
“We know what the Democrats are up to here. They want open borders. This is exactly their strategy,” Babin said on the right-wing network Newsmax. “They want to replace the American electorate with a third-world electorate that will be on welfare and public assistance, put them on a path to citizenship and amnesty, and enfranchise them with a vote, and they will have a permanent majority. This is why. We have a quote from 2015 from Vice President Joe Biden, who said essentially that.”
This is not, in fact, what Biden said, “essentially” or in any other sense. But that likely won’t stop people like Carlson from distorting the truth or simply telling falsehoods. Last week, Carlson pulled back the curtain on his own inner workings when he admitted to conservative talk show host Dave Rubin that he lies on his show.
“I mean, I lie if I’m really cornered or something,” Carlson said. “I lie. I really try not to. I try never to lie on TV. I just don’t ― I don’t like lying. I certainly do it, you know, out of weakness or whatever.”