Tucker Carlson asked viewers of his show about “what happened” in South Africa over the last 29 years this week, seemingly referencing the end of apartheid in 1994 and the election of President Nelson Mandela.
The Fox News opinion host began his Tuesday night programme ranting against legislation introduced by Texas Democratic Representative Sheila Jackson Lee aimed at combatting “white supremacy,” The Daily Beast noted.
The proposed legislation would criminalise certain kinds of hate speech. Mr Carlson claimed that the legislation, which is aimed to fight hate speech aimed at non-white people, is a “direct attack on the Bill of Rights”.
“We shouldn’t be surprised by this, however, because it’s consistent with what Biden has promised … since the day he got into office,” Mr Carlson said, going on to claim that the proposed legislation would damage the rule of law across the West.
“And the promise was that race-blind justice, which is the entire foundation of the rule of law in the West, has been for centuries, is done,” Mr Carlson claimed, adding that the “new model” is South Africa, which he said is “a country we never talk about because no one wants to admit what’s happened there over the past 29 years”.
In 1994 -- 29 years ago -- apartheid ended in South Africa following years-long negotiations.
Mr Carlson has previously spoken about the country. In 2018, he had a segment on his show about a suggested plan to expropriate land, claiming that it was equal to the government stealing land from white farmers “because they are the wrong skin colour”.
Experts later told The Daily Beast that Mr Carlson’s view of the plan was inaccurate.
This time around, Twitter users were quick to criticise both Mr Carlson and Fox News.
“His ratings exceed CNN and MSNBC at comparable time slots. That this SOB is a racist and antisemite is not to be questioned. But what do his ratings say about our country?” Karl Rosenfeld asked.
“Hate rules, unfortunately. 48% of the country embraces it and the clown brought it to the surface,” one Twitter user responded.
“I know a woman in her 70s, a devout Christian and a very sweet lady, who watches Fox because it’s ‘fair and balanced’. No matter that Fox itself is saying that,” another account holder said.
Journalist John Harwood called Mr Carlson “one twisted guy”.
Professor Darren Lenard Hutchinson of the Emory University School of Law tweeted that “Tucker is ‘basically’ a virulent Jim Crow shameless persistent indisputable RACIST”.
“The most watched cable show in America saying Apartheid wasn’t all that bad of an idea... In case you wondered where the American Republican party was heading,” Brady Quirk-Garvan wrote.