On May 27, peaceful protests and vigils over George Floyd’s death in police custody turned into more chaotic scenes in the streets of Minneapolis. Videos of these protests showed a Target store being looted and an Autozone on fire (more on that here.) CNN reports of the scenes showed people throwing Molotov cocktails and police deploying tear gas. There were even reports of a pawn shop owner shooting and killing a suspected looter, although that has yet to be confirmed by the authorities.
On Wednesday night, Fox News host Tucker Carlson spoke out about these ongoing protests on Tucker Carlson Tonight. He took issue with the label of “protesters,” saying instead that these are riots and a “form of tyranny.”
A short clip of Carlson’s segment is available here:
Tucker Carlson says the Minneapolis protests are "a threat to every American," "tyranny," "oppression" and says putting down the protests is "defending society itself" pic.twitter.com/kSQhWuI7rO
— Andrew Lawrence (@ndrew_lawrence) May 28, 2020
Carlson Addressed the Protests on His Primetime Show, Calling Them ‘A Form of Tyranny’
On the full segment of Tucker Carlson Tonight, the host said, “So we know that George Floyd died in police custody, and when an investigation is done we will know a lot more. It’s possible that at least one police officer will be charged in the case. So as of tonight, those are the facts.” He then continued, “Here’s another fact: What happened last night in Minneapolis was not a political protest — it was a riot.”
The screen then cut to some clips of protestors breaking windows, throwing stones and attacking police vehicles. Carlson said, “so that’s what rioting looks like. It happened last night and as you can see, it’s happening right now.”
He clarified that he isn’t attempting to defend the actions of the police officers who were involved in Floyd’s death on May 25. He said, “We are defending society itself. Rioting is the one thing you don’t want. Ugly opinions, police brutality, officious birdwatchers, rude entitled ladies walking their dogs in big city parks — all of that is bad, but none of it is nearly as bad as what you just saw.”
The indiscriminate use of violence by mobs is a threat to every American of all colors and backgrounds and political beliefs. Democracy cannot exist when people are rioting. Rioting is a form of tyranny. The strong and the violent oppress the weak and the unarmed. It is oppression.
Carlson then went on to accuse CNN and other media outlets of encouraging these scenes, using the term “protestors” instead of “rioters.”
Many People Took to Social Media to Express Their Opinions About Carlson’s Segment
People took to Twitter to voice their opinions about Carlson’s segment and his comments about the protests being riots and a form of tyranny. One person posted, “Technically, the Boston Tea Party was a protest against tyranny. I wonder if Tucker Carlson would have taken the king’s side in that one?” Another said, “there is a coherent worldview at work here. freedom and liberty for whites, obedience for blacks.”
One person said, “Tucker Carlson just said protests and rioting are a form of tyranny whereas I’m pretty sure most historical experts would agree it’s been, more often than not, society’s natural reaction to it.” Another posted a Martin Luther King quote in their tweet: “Tucker Carlson: ‘Rioting is the one thing you don’t want. Democracy cannot exist when people are rioting. Rioting a form of tyranny… It is oppression.’ Martin Luther King (1966): We got to see that a riot is the language of the unheard.”