Read time: 3 minutes

Tucker Carlson: An ‘Honest’ Discussion About White Privilege Requires Racist Statements About Other Groups

White-nationalist hero Tucker Carlson repeatedly demanded his guest make “a negative generalization” about other ethnic groups in order to “prove” his bona fides in condemning white privilege.

White-nationalist hero Tucker Carlson repeatedly demanded his guest make “a negative generalization” about other ethnic groups in order to “prove” his bona fides in condemning white privilege.

In his discussion with David Burstein about a university course focused on the “white experience,” Carlson proved yet again that he is unable to debate like a grownup. In this case, his juvenile insults were designed not just to disparage concerns about white privilege but also to legitimize racism. Legitimizing bigotry is an effort Carlson just happens to work at again and again.

Of course, Carlson is the epitome of white privilege which, unfortunately, Burstein did not note. Yet Carlson – who recently purchased a Washington, D.C. home for nearly $4 million – never tires of painting white people as oppressed by minorities. Surely, his white nationalist fans were heartened again.

Carlson neatly worked in his latest bit of nationalist propaganda with the Fox war on academia. As a large “Campus Craziness” graphic appeared over his shoulder, he mentioned the University of Colorado’s “witnessing whiteness” workshop which is part of a graduate certificate program called “Diversity, Social Justice and Inclusion.” Carlson added that the name “should strike fear into all who hear it” because, among other things, it “focuses on the alleged traits of the quote, dominant white culture.”

Carlson got straight to his effort of smearing such concerns as the real racism in America. “Are you at all surprised that racist crap like this exists in the open in 2018?” he asked guest David Burstein. That was also, of course, a wink to his viewers about his own sympathies.

Burstein, who has nothing to do with the university’s workshop, made the usual mistake of allowing the pretense of honest discussion to stand rather than to reframe it by calling out Carlson's slimy tactics. However, Burstein was an excellent debater. Carlson, on the other hand, had nothing but his badgering, racist demagoguery.

CARLSON: It’s the beginning of a series of attacks on people on the basis of their skin color.I know racism, textbook definition when I see it, and that’s lumping a group of people together on the basis of their appearance and immutable characteristics and attacking them. That’s what this is.


CARLSON: Are you comfortable making generalizations about other racial and ethnic groups that are negative? Any generalizations? Go ahead and try one. You just said that white privilege is real—no, no, I’m serious. If we are going to have a—the honest conversation that you are calling for, then I call on you to be honest and make a negative generalization about any other racial or ethnic group in this country. Go ahead, you got the floor. [Transcript excerpt mostly via Media Matters, with my emphases].

Carlson also called Burstein “a glib apologist for racism,” which is exactly how you might describe Carlson’s mission on Fox News.

Did Carlson’s demagoguery trump reason and civility? Watch the discussion below and decide for yourself. It’s from the May 16, 2018 Tucker Carlson Tonight, via Media Matters.

Originally published at

Can you help us out?

For 16 years we have been exposing Washington lies and untangling media deceit. We work 7 days a week, 16 hours a day for our labor of love, but with rising hosting and associated costs, we need your help! Could you donate $20 for 2020? Please consider a one time or recurring donation of whatever amount you can spare, or consider subscribing for an ad-free experience. It will be greatly appreciated and help us continue our mission of exposing the real FAKE NEWS!

More C&L Coverage


We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service (revised 3/17/2016) for information on our posting policy.