Fox News voices push idea that systemic racism doesn't exist
As nationwide protests and civil unrest continue over issues of police brutality and the discriminatory treatment of Black Americans and other minority groups in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25, many voices of Fox News have doubled down against the fundamental grievances involved.
In their telling: Systemic racism isn’t even a real thing.
On the May 29 edition of Tucker Carlson Tonight, frequent Fox News guest Heather Mac Donald claimed that the leaders of America’s cities “have bought into the narrative that America is fundamentally racist.”
“They are trying to emasculate the police,” she said. “The police are not systemically biased. We are seeing a revival of the dangerous narrative of the Obama years that policing is shot through with systemic injustice. As awful as this one incident was, that is simply not true, Tucker. Study after study shows that the police do not treat people differently based on their skin color.”
Actual research data shows quite the opposite of Mac Donald’s contention. Black and Hispanic people are more likely than white people to be stopped by police and be subject to physical force or the threat of force.
In one remarkable moment, a Black commentator on Fox tried to seriously discuss and explain the issues that Black communities deal with during interactions with police — only to be shouted down by his colleague.
“Remember stop-and-frisk, and people are saying, ‘Why are you stigmatizing these young men?’” Juan Williams said on the June 1 edition of The Five. “Ninety-nine percent of them have nothing on them. But you're stopping them and everyone is — ‘you know, there's a high percentage of crime in those neighborhoods.’ Well, it's damaging to human beings who don't want to be treated as if they are criminals simply on the basis of their skin color.”
Gutfeld cut in, absurdly yelling out, “But Juan, nobody is disagreeing with you.” He continued to repeat himself loudly over Williams’ points, insisting nobody disagreed with him.
Then on June 2, Carlson dismissed the legitimacy of systemic racism as a concept:
On the June 2 edition of The Ingraham Angle, The Daily Wire's Ben Shapiro said the country was in “serious trouble” because of “one side that is driving a narrative that America is systematically racist.”
On the June 3 edition of The Five, co-host Jesse Watters responded to recent comments from former President Barack Obama, about the societal issues now at play: “But it was quite jarring to hear the black president talk about how racist the country is that elected him twice. And he was there for the last eight years, and this country is still racist — it's systematically racist. I'm not sure what that means.”
Just to be clear, Obama had urged young people to “feel hopeful even as you may feel angry,” due to the “sense of urgency” that they had communicated for transformational change. This was far from the sort of condemnation of America that Watters seemed to depict.
On the June 3 edition of The Story with Martha MacCallum, Fox News contributor Bill Bennett insisted: “There is no systemic racism, there are individual racists. But this is a big lie because we refuse to talk about the things that are real like family formation, non-family formation, the fact that there is more crime in the city, the fact that there is other problems.”
And on the June 3 edition of The Ingraham Angle, frequent Fox News guest Bernie Kerik, a former New York City Police commissioner, declared that contrary to media reports that “the community is sick and tired of police brutality,” in reality “most of those communities have phenomenal relationships with the cops … and, you know, the whole picture of systemic racism is a farce.”
Later on the same program, Ingraham brought on Georgia Republican congressional candidate Angela Stanton King, to rebut statements by former Attorney General Eric Holder that racial stereotypes from the slavery era are “still are part … of the American psyche.”