What Tucker Carlson’s Text Message Says About His White Code

His most successful on-air persona at Fox since the departure of Bill O’Reilly is a volatile mix of Earth’s upper crust and salt. Whiteness was the glue that held the package together, and even as Carlson tries to work through some inherent contradictions in this text, we can see it coming through seamlessly.

At stake is not the life or safety of the anonymous “antifa kid,” but Carlson’s own perception of himself. “It’s not good for me,” he thinks. That phrase, a syntactic echo of “that’s not how white men fight,” establishes the stakes, which are Carlson’s ethical virtue and not his racial superiority. Watching the beatings, he learns what Kipling called “the white man’s burden”—the duty to subjugate the supposedly inferior races without rising to their level.

The race of the beaten man is not mentioned in the text, but his otherness – his inferiority compared to both his attackers and Carlson – is repeatedly emphasized. “The Antifa creep is human,” he writes. It’s not exactly a surge of compassion, as Carlson is quick to qualify. “I hate what he says and does, I’m sure I hate him, and if I knew him personally, I shouldn’t rejoice at his suffering. I should worry about it.” Carlson doesn’t really care — and is actually happy — but he knows this reaction poses a problem.

This is a problem because he imagines that the joy he feels in the man’s suffering is in harmony with the man himself, not with those who make him suffer. If he’s happy to see Antifa creep, that makes him worse than Antifa creeps. Because that guy reduces “people to their politics”.

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How can Carlson be sure of this? Isn’t that just a guess? Yes, but another way is to insist that your side shouldn’t behave this way, even if you prove otherwise. Reducing people to their politics is what the enemy – the other, the barbaric, the disrespectful – do. Even if it’s obvious what you’re doing, it’s not doing it that sets you above them.

“How am I better than him?” That question isn’t rhetorical, it’s existential, and it presents Carlson as both hero and victim in this story. To borrow a phrase Elvis Costello, this is someone who “likes to know the names of everyone better than him.” Not because of personal insecurity, but as a matter of racial and ideological policy. This is how white people fight.

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