Tucker Carlson may no longer be Fox News’ frontman, but he’s by no means abandoned the racist, conspiratorial rhetoric that rocketed him to right-wing stardom. On Wednesday’s installment of Carlson’s self-produced X show, host injected his views on white genocide into a discussion of the ongoing Israel-Hamas war while interviewing The Daily Wire’s Candace Owens.
Early in the interview, Carlson and Owens had discussed her explosive, public spat with Daily Wire founder Ben Shapiro over the war in Gaza, before discussing how it is also fueling tensions on college campuses. Owens and Carlson accused pro-Israel lobbyists and donors of hypocrisy in their calls to pull funding from universities where pro-Palestinian protests had taken place, while remaining silent about or supportive of Black Lives Matter and diversity initiatives. The two claimed that those movements supported the extermination of white people and that those providing funds to universities where they are tolerated should be held to account.
“[Pro-Israel commentators] are demanding that we have this same response that you are having about what people are saying on college campuses,” Owens said. “The rhetoric on college campuses hasn’t changed. Did you not remember what they were saying when professors were saying the anti-white explicit racism that was happening? People were learning this actively in schools, that whiteness was associated with wrongness.”
Carlson agreed. “That seems genocidal, by definition. If you’re saying that being a certain ethnicity or race is itself a sin and we need less of you, I mean that is the definition is it not?”
Owens referred to discussions of race on college campuses as having the ultimate aim of “needing to breed out white people from the population,” and claimed she received little support when she spoke out against the matter. She added that putting college students on “black lists,” as is happening to pro-Palestinian protesters and students who have signed letters supporting Palestinians, will do little to foment support for Israel amongst young people.
“I get why [Ivy League] donors are mad,” Carlson said. “I support donors giving money to things they agree with […] If you don’t like it don’t pay for it, good for you, — however, then I thought ‘well wait a second’ if the biggest donors at, say, Harvard have decided well ‘we’re going to shut it down now,’ well where were you the last 10 years when they were calling for white genocide?”
“You were paying for it, actually,” he added shortly after about the pro-Israel lobby. “You were paying for it … You were calling my children immoral for their skin color, you paid for that.”
Ep. 39 Candace Owens responds to Ben Shapiro.
(00:00) Candace is attacked – even when she’s right
(4:27) Ben Shapiro’s comments
(12:50) The emotional response to news out of Israel
(23:05) Nikki Haley vs. free speech
(30:34) 2024 predictions pic.twitter.com/VOThqpQQ48
— Tucker Carlson (@TuckerCarlson) November 15, 2023
The interview with Owens was by no means the first time Carlson has claimed powerful political forces are promoting the extermination of whites. In fact, it’s one of his favorite conspiracy theories and one in which he has been the singular most dominant voice in proliferating to the public at large.
As a Fox News host, Carlson repeatedly pushed the “great replacement” conspiracy theory, an offshoot of the white genocide myth that often overlaps with antisemitic conspiracies. He regularly claimed that the United States was on the verge of an exterminationist race war akin to the Rwandan Genocide — where white people would be the victims.
On a virtually nightly basis, Carlson would fearmonger that the arrival of immigrants in the United States was an intentional, eugenically motivated plot by Democrats to replace white, Republican voters with a more loyal, diverse demographic. The conspiracy theory often goes hand-in-hand with antisemitic claims that Jewish people, particularly those with significant wealth or powerful political positions, are masterminding this “great replacement.”
Carlson and Owens explicitly linking pro-Israel Ivy League donors and lobbyists to their mythmaking regarding white genocide marks a twisted advancement of a conspiracy deeply rooted in antisemitic tropes. Those tropes have run rampant on social media in the past month, and have even been pushed by Elon Musk, the owner of X (formerly Twitter), where Carlson’s show is hosted. On Wednesday, Musk replied, “You have said the actual truth,” to a post claiming that Jewish people have promoted “dialectical hatred against whites that they claim to want people to stop using against them.”
Musk added that “the [Anti-Defamation League] unjustly attacks the majority of the West, despite the majority of the West supporting the Jewish people and Israel. This is because they cannot, by their own tenets, criticize the minority groups who are their primary threat. It is not right and needs to stop.” If antisemitism is ever to be checked online, it won’t be on X.
More from Rolling Stone
Best of Rolling Stone