The 9/11 terrorists would fit in a locker room. Every MS-13 gang member in America would fit in the Great Western Forum. The worldwide membership of ISIS might well fit in Michigan Stadium. “Fits in a football stadium” is an idiotic proxy for “a real problem,” especially when only official “members” are counted as part of that problem.
I happen to think that the term white supremacy is now used too promiscuously by some intellectuals. It obviously does not follow that white supremacists don’t exist, or that they aren’t a threat worth taking seriously
Dismissing white supremacy as a concern, Carlson reasoned, “I’ve lived here 50 years and I’ve never met anybody, not one person, who ascribes to white supremacy.” While I doubt that, it would be a dumb argument even if it were true. As far as I know, I’ve never met a murderer or a child molester or a perpetrator of elder abuse. Yet I am certain that all three crimes are still problems.
“The whole thing is a lie,” Carlson insisted. “If you were to assemble a list, a hierarchy of concerns or problems this country faces, where would white supremacy be on the list? Right up there with Russia, probably.”
Russia is a nuclear-armed autocracy that remains the most significant reason for the continued existence of NATO. The country actively works to undermine U.S. interests around the globe. It pays a troll army to sow discord among American citizens, and successfully stole emails from the Democratic Party to influence the last presidential election. I happen to think that some people overstate its influence. That does not mean Russia doesn’t pose real challenges to the country.
Setting Russia aside, consider that hierarchical list of problems that America faces. As Carlson sees it, white supremacy belongs very low on that list, thus his cable-news rivals at CNN were disgracing themselves by talking about such a nonproblem in a segment he excerpted. What problems do rank high enough to warrant concern? Carlson has dedicated Fox segments to fretting about:
All that and more meets his threshold for problems worthy of national media attention, yet he makes sweeping, unqualified objections to coverage of a mass shooter’s extremist ideology just after he murdered 22 people—the same ideology shared by the mass murderers who bombed a federal building in Oklahoma City; shot six at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin; shot nine in a historically black church in Charleston, South Carolina; and massacred 11 in a Pittsburgh synagogue.
After those killings and others, one wonders, how many Americans do white supremacists have to murder in mass-casualty terrorist attacks before Carlson regards the ideology as a significant enough problem to warrant public discussion?