5 Reasons Tucker Carlson was right about ‘how white men fight’

OPINION: Fox News had no choice but to fire Tucker Carlson after an unearthed text message describing white-on-white crime broke the network's number one rule.

Activist groups Truth Tuesdays and Rise and Resist gathered at the weekly FOX LIES DEMOCRACY DIES event outside the NewsCorp Building in Manhattan. Participant seen holding a sign outside Fox News. (Photo by Erik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Why was Tucker Carlson fired?

According to the New York Times, a Jan. 7 text message from Carlson to a Fox News producer “set off a panic at the highest levels of Fox.” Fox’s lawyers were in possession of Carlson’s texts for months, including Exhibit 276, which said: 

A couple of weeks ago, I was watching video of people fighting on the street in Washington. A group of Trump guys surrounded an Antifa kid and started pounding the living s**t out of him. It was three against one, at least. Jumping a guy like that is dishonorable obviously. It’s not how white men fight. Yet suddenly I found myself rooting for the mob against the man, hoping they’d hit him harder, kill him. I really wanted them to hurt the kid. I could taste it. Then somewhere deep in my brain, an alarm went off: this isn’t good for me. I’m becoming something I don’t want to be. The Antifa creep is a human being. Much as I despise what he says and does, much as I’m sure I’d hate him personally if I knew him, I shouldn’t gloat over his suffering. I should be bothered by it. I should remember that somewhere somebody probably loves this kid, and would be crushed if he was killed. If I don’t care about those things, if I reduce people to their politics, how am I better than he is?

Tucker Carlson January 7, 2021

Apparently, the executives at the ESPN of right-wing extremist sports weren’t bothered by Carlson’s white nationalist dog whistles, his baseless conspiracy theories or his election denial. They were fine when their highest-rated host attacked Black women including Tiffany Cross, Jemele Hill, Joy Reid, Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, Vice President Kamala Harris, Rep. Maxine Waters and even the brown M&M

While many have speculated that the network terminated Carlson because of the racist elements of the messages, that doesn’t make sense. Carlson’s former employer caters to an audience that is almost 100 % white so they weren’t worried about him offending their core demographic. After all, “sharing his private, inflammatory views about violence and race,” is what made Carlson Fox’s highest-rated host. It’s their brand. 

So why was Carlson fired?

Maybe Fox News was worried that Carlson was telling the truth, which is probably against company policy. After profiting off unfair and imbalanced reporting for so many years, perhaps they were worried about him ruining their cash cow. Tucker’s texts revealed an in-depth knowledge of how white men have fought throughout history, and if there’s one thing their audience hates, it’s actual history.

Although we were not privy to the actual video that spawned Carlson’s diatribe, when theGrio broke down Carlson’s color commentary of the impromptu mixed martial arts contest between the “Antifa kid,” we reached a stunning conclusion.

Tucker Carlson was fired for telling the truth. 

Here are the top five reasons Tucker Carlson was right about how white men fight.

5. There weren’t enough white men.

Carlson described the combatants as “a group of Trump guys” and “an Antifa kid,” which is atypical of the average white fight.

To meet the standard of the white fighting tradition, there needs to be a mob. While there is no specific numeric definition of what qualifies as a mob, history shows that there must be more people involved than what Carlson said was “three against one, at least.” To be fair, unlike the bombing of Tulsa, Oklahoma, the Colfax Massacre and the Jan. 6 attack on the US Capitol, this was a spontaneous act of violence for which there was no time to plan. 

Of course, some may point out that white men commit one-on-one acts of violence all the time, which is why white-on-white crime is higher than other demographics. Others might ask about police brutality. But when you look at who is arrested for violence, you realize that the police are a mob. The criminal justice system is a mob. People who ask: “but what about Black-on-Black crime” are a mob.

America is a mob.

4. He called it “a fight”

When referring to white political violence, you’re supposed to use a euphemism that conjures up the notion of patriotism and the desire for liberty. 

White men don’t fight. They have “duels” or “engagements.” Even if a mob is involved, it’s still not a fight. Only Black people riot; white fighters from Boston have “tea parties.” When white men massacred indigenous people for dancing at Wounded Knee, it was a “Battle.”  Carlson might not have been fired if he would have referred to the incident as the “Trail of White Tears” or the “War of Antifa Aggression.”

3. No one died

Tucker said he found himself “rooting for the mob against the man, hoping they’d hit him harder, kill him. I really wanted them to hurt the kid. I could taste it.” 

Tucker was not alone.

Right-wing extremists were responsible for almost 75 percent of the domestic terrorist deaths during the past decade. According to the National Institutes of Justice, white men were responsible for most school shootings, most mass shootings and most killings of police officers. But in the event Tucker described, no one died.

That’s not how white men fight.

2. It didn’t work

When white men fight, they get stuff accomplished.

There is no doubt that white political violence accomplishes its goals. When white domestic terrorist groups attacked Black people during Reconstruction, they wrote white supremacy into their state constitutions, installed Jim Crow and successfully suppressed the Black vote for a half-century. When white men fought to preserve segregation, America’s education system remained separate and unequal. Of course, when white men fought the deadliest war on the continent to preserve slavery, they lost… “Except as punishment for a crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted.”

People gather for “Truth Tuesday” as they participate in a “Fox can’t handle the truth” protest outside Fox News headquarters on June 14, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

But Trump lost the election and his acolytes failed at installing him as president.

And, unlike the warriors who fought to preserve white supremacy during Reconstruction, the Red Summer of 1919, and countless other times, Trump’s insurrectionists are being punished for crimes for which they have been duly convicted.

Who does that?

Surely, not white men.

1. White people found out

When white men fight, white people are not supposed to know about it. 

White people really thought HBO’s “Watchmen” was based on a plot device about a fictional bombing in Tulsa, Oklahoma. They will tell you that the “Africans sold slaves,” because their history books never mention that white men colonized Africa to set up the transatlantic slave trade. Because they don’t know how white men fight, they righteously think the Civil War was about taxes, that Thomas Jefferson believed that “all men were created equal” and that America is a democracy with liberty and justice for all.

But that’s not the lie that Tucker exposed.

Carlson admitted that he’d probably hate the antifa kid if he knew him. He implied that he wasn’t even bothered by seeing someone be subjected to a violent beating. He even confessed that he initially wanted the mob to kill the “Antifa kid.” 

But in the middle of recounting his politically-charged bloodlust, the white nationalist whisperer did something that is wholly atypical of someone who made an entire career and a network that made billions demonizing Black women, diversity, equality, history, immigrants, democracy and everything that is not white. Even if he didn’t mean it, Tucker Carlson used a term to describe a victim of white violence that gave Fox News no choice but to fire him.

He called him a “human being.”

That’s not how white men fight.

Michael Harriot is a writer, cultural critic and championship-level Spades player. His book, “Black AF History: The Unwhitewashed Story of America,” will be released in September.

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