Senator Tammy Duckworth, a veteran and double-amputee of the Iraq War, on Tuesday urged Fox News host Tucker Carlson to “walk a mile in my legs and then tell me whether or not I love America,” after the far-right personality accused her of hating the country.
On the Tuesday night edition of Carlson’s prime time show, he railed against Duckworth again, calling Duckworth a “moron” and a “callous fraud” who “despises” the United States. Duckworth has not responded to the fresh attacks as of today. However, Carlson’s words and a chyron he ran under images of Duckworth and Congresswoman Ilhan Omar that appeared racist sparked widespread outrage Wednesday.
Here’s what you need to know:
Carlson Said Duckworth Was a ‘Moron’ for Criticizing President Trump’s Mt. Rushmore Speech & Saying the Country Should ‘Listen to Arguments’ For Removing Statues of Slave-Owning Founders
During a Sunday interview on CNN’s State of the Union, Duckworth was asked whether statues of founders like George Washington, who was a slave-owner, should come down.
Duckworth said that we “should start off by having a national dialogue on it at some point,” but questioned whether now was the right time, with the coronavirus pandemic ongoing, according to a transcript of the interview on Axios.
“I think we should listen to everybody,” Duckworth added, “I think we should listen to the argument there, but remember that the president at Mount Rushmore was standing on ground that was stolen from Native Americans who had actually been given that land during a treaty.”
Carlson took strong exception to those remarks, attacking Duckworth first on his Monday night show. He prefaced his remarks by claiming that “you’re not supposed to criticize” her, because of her status as a combat veteran.
“But when Duckworth does speak in public, you’re reminded what a deeply silly and unimpressive person she is,” Carlson said, according to Media Matters. “Here’s Tammy Duckworth from over the weekend telling us it’s time to get rid of George Washington.”
Duckworth responded that night, asking Carlson to “walk a mile in my legs and then tell me whether or not I love America?”
Does @TuckerCarlson want to walk a mile in my legs and then tell me whether or not I love America?
— Tammy Duckworth (@SenDuckworth) July 7, 2020
Tuesday night, Carlson was on the attack again, claiming Duckworth “questioned our right to criticize her at all because she was once injured in combat … That’s what passes as an argument in modern identity politics.”
He went on to call Duckworth “grotesque,” a “moron” and a “vandal,” distorting her position in the Meet the Press interview to indicate that she wants statues of George Washington removed.
“She is also a fraud … a callous hack who ignored the suffering of other veterans when it actually mattered,” Carlson added. He was referring to an incident in 2016 when two whistleblowers accused Duckworth of not acting on reports of abuse and corruption at Veterans Affairs in Virginia, as reported by NBC.
Carlson Also Attacked Somali-American Congresswoman Ilhan Omar & Ran a Chyron Under Both Women’s Names That Evoked the Famous ’14 Words’ Used By White Nationalists
jesus christ pic.twitter.com/E1sEKWNxf0
— Andrew Lawrence (@ndrew_lawrence) July 8, 2020
Toward the end of the Tuesday night segment, Carlson also ran a chyron underneath images of Duckworth and Omar while he finished his monologue.
“We have to fight to preserve our nation and heritage,” it read.
Duckworth is a Thai-American. Omar, of Minnesota, is the first Somali-American in Congress, and has been a frequent target of Carlson’s wrath. Tuesday, he zeroed in on Omar’s recent comments about systems of oppression in American society.
“We can’t stop at criminal justice reform or policing reform,” Omar said, as reported by the Nation. “We are not merely fighting to tear down the systems of oppression in the criminal justice system. We are fighting to tear down systems of oppression that exist in housing, in education, in health care, in employment, in the air we breathe.”
Carlson deemed Omar also a “vandal,” and said, “If anyone should love American, it’s her. This country rescued her from a squalid Kenyan refugee camp and made her a national figure.”
“As long as our economic and political systems prioritize profit, without considering who is profiting and who is being shut out, we will perpetuate inequality.”
It is telling that a black woman discussing systematic oppression is so triggering to the right. pic.twitter.com/chJtgp5OzP
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) July 7, 2020
Omar responded to the outrage of Carlson and other conservatives, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. “It is telling that a Black woman discussing systematic oppression is so triggering to the right,” she said.
The message portrayed by the chyron sparked outrage because of its similarity to the so-called “14 Words” coined by late white nationalist terrorist David Lane. The racist ideologue’s quote, “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for White children,” has become an infamous slogan of American white nationalists, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
If you aren’t in the know, the chyron in this Tucker Carlson segment is a summation of the ‘14 Words’, a white supremacist slogan coined by David Lane, a member of an influential American terrorist group known as The Order, and is an open call to commit mass murder. https://t.co/fNjjqjEL41
— Nathan Oseroff-Spicer (@nathanoseroff) July 8, 2020
The number 14, and similar phrases using 14 words, are often used as code online for white nationalists and supremacists to signal fraternity with one another, according to the Anti-Defamation League.
Liberal Commentators and Far-Right Watch Dog Groups Claimed Carlson Was Openly Signaling White Nationalists, Saying He ‘Might As Well Put On His White Hood’
Tucker Carlson might as well put on his kkk hood while filming because we all know he's a white supremacist. The fact that he still has a show is proof "cancel culture" isn't a threat to anyone with power. https://t.co/lDhU3Lspnj
— The Humanist Report🌹 (@HumanistReport) July 8, 2020
Reporters for watch dog groups like Media Matters and the anti-Trump political action committee the Lincoln Project highlighted the chyron and claimed Carlson was openly signaling white nationalists, Huffington Post reported.
One user said the chyron was “literally the 14 words abbreviated.”
Former vice president and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s campaign told the Washington Post, “Tucker Carlson and his colleagues who traffic in hate speech masquerading as journalism are accomplices to Donald Trump’s perverse mission to use division and bitterness to tear this country apart.”
Tammy Duckworth is an American hero.
— Amy Klobuchar (@amyklobuchar) July 8, 2020
Sen. Amy Klobuchar, of Minnesota, tweeted simply, “Tammy Duckworth is an American hero” on Wednesday morning.
Heavy reached out to Fox News for comment on Carlson’s attack on Duckworth, and the chyron in question, but had not heard back as of late Tuesday afternoon.