I’m not sure when news anchors started engaging in the journalistic equivalent of releasing dis tracks, but Fox News’ Tucker Carlson and CNN’s Don Lemon have spent the last year or so cementing themselves as the Drake vs. Pusha T of the mainstream media world. (I was going to go with Dr. Dre vs. Eazy-E, but I have got to stop showing my age here every time I make pop culture references.)
The back and forth and back and forth again battle rivalry between the two hosts has only been mildly entertaining. It’s like South Park’s version of the WWE where wrestlers spend most of the time talking shit to and about each other while the audience is just waiting for somebody to hit somebody with a folding chair. But one thing about Carlson: Whenever he comes at the Don (or anybody for that matter), he only ever reminds the world just how white he is.
During Monday’s episode of the Tucker Carlson Tonight, Carlson did the thing conservatives do where they pretend to care about racism just long enough to take a jab at someone on the left before they return to their normal stance of pretending racism doesn’t exist. Carlson was extra creepy about it, of course, as he showed his viewers footage of Lemon’s home where he spotted what appears to be a cookie jar figurine of a sambo-era chef in blackface.
But before we get to that, let’s start with Carlson’s diatribe of white nonsense that led up to the big reveal.
Carlson began by questioning how “oppressed” Lemon actually is and where he stands on the “victim scale” compared with other Black public figures such as Meghan Markle and Michelle Obama.
“Well, we did a little digging and here are the details. Don Lemon lives in a $4.3 million home in Sag Harbor, New York. No, he does not live in section eight housing. He lives in one of the whitest towns in America. In fact, 80 percent Sag Harbor is just 3 percent African American.”
Carlson then accuses Lemon of running “away from diversity,” despite calling for representation.
“His reality is that he doesn’t like diversity at all. None of them do,” Carlson said.
See, this is what I meant by Carlson always showing off how white he is. White conservatives don’t seem to understand the concept of caring about things that don’t directly affect them. Their favorite narrative to throw at athletes like Colin Kaepernick and LeBron James when they start speaking out against systemic racism is that they make millions of dollars so they couldn’t possibly be oppressed. This argument implies that Black celebrities have only been Black for the amount of time that they’ve been rich and famous, that rich and famous Black people can’t experience racism and, more to the point, that because rich and famous Black people aren’t as vulnerable to the effects of systemic racism as non-rich and famous Black people are, they have no reason to give a shit about it.
Of course, Lemon lives in a predominantly white neighborhood—he’s rich. Rich people move to rich neighborhoods and rich neighborhoods tend to be white AF. The idea that this means rich Black people aren’t allowed to advocate for diversity is absurd.
Anyway, let’s move on to the sambo cookie jar issue.
“But you have to ask yourself...What is this? This symbol of hate, posing as a cookie jar, doing in Don Lemon’s kitchen?” Carlson said. “Do you see that? That right there, ladies and gentlemen, is a white supremacist QAnon cookie jar.”
Before you ask—no, nobody knows where TF Carlson is getting this QAnon connection from as Black caricature has nothing to do with a bunch of bat-shit conservative conspiracy theorists who are impatiently waiting on the second coming of Rust-Orange Jesus.
Equally confusing is Carlson’s declaration that Fox News won’t be “calling for the Department of Justice” to look into Lemon’s ownership of a racist figurine because, “That’s not our place, we’re a cable news show, not a law enforcement agency. But let’s just put it this way. If you find yourself with a black face cookie jar in your own kitchen, it’s time to reflect.”
It appears that Carlson thinks owning racist memorabilia is illegal, but since he’s had the opposite energy towards the removal of Confederate monuments, it’s safe to say that he’s just putting on airs for his viewers, many of whom probably own some blackface collector’s items of their own.
Don’t get me wrong: If I happen to be walking through Lemon’s house and I saw that cookie jar, I’m definitely giving Lemon the “WTF?” look, but who the hell is Carlson to question it? First of all, he’s white and Black people generally don’t give a shit what white people think of our reclaiming or reframing of things that came from white supremacy. Secondly, this is the same Tucker Carlson who recently had a white pseudoscientist on his show to explain that racism isn’t what’s holding Black people back, it’s actually the low number of IQ points produced by our tiny negro brains in comparison to the IQs of white people’s far superior whitey minds.
So yes, for a certain Republican PornHub news anchor, it is indeed “time to reflect.”