TV News

Tucker Carlson Has an Opening for a New Secretly Racist Writer (Again)

Blake Neff is just the latest secret racist to be exposed and ousted from Tucker Carlson's orbit.

Tucker: What we're watching is class war disguised as race war

On Friday Blake Neff—the top writer for Tucker Carlson Tonight—resigned after years of his racist, sexist, and homophobic Internet posts were exposed.

As a result, Tucker Carlson now has an opening for a new top writer who is better at hiding their secret racism. But maybe that assessment isn't fair. After all, Carlson isn't like the rest of Fox News.

Sure, he earns millions of dollars a year telling his viewers to be afraid of Democrats because if they get into office "people who supported Donald Trump will be punished" and that "there's never been an American political party as radical and as angry as the Democrats are now."

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Culture News

White Supremacy and Erasing American History: John Wayne's Son Pushes Back Against Airport Name Change

Democratic politicians are pushing to rename John Wayne Airport after "White Supremacy" Playboy interview resurfaces

John Wayne Airport

Photo by Carter Saunders (Unsplash)

In Orange County this week, a group of Democratic politicians has been pushing to remove John Wayne's name as well as a 9-foot statue of the actor from John Wayne Airport, but John Wayne's son is pushing back.

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Culture Feature

The Strange Intersections of K-Pop, Korean Culture, and American Fascism

In 2016 the Alt-Right co-opted elements of Korean culture, now K-Pop Fans are fighting back.

American Fascist

Photo by Gayatri Malhotra (Unsplash)

In 2016, young and extremely online white men began simping hard for Donald Trump's presidential candidacy on sites like 4chan, Reddit, and (for the particularly hateful/socially maladjusted) 8chan.

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Culture Feature

Will 2020 See the End of Brand Activism?

Consumers are getting tired of corporation's hollow political statements.

Outdoor Voices ad campaign 2019

There's a certain type of millennial, quasi-political, female-forward brand that feels like, if she were a person, would have bullied me in high school.

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Taco Bell

Photo by pj gal szabo (Unsplash)

Last week a Black man named Denzel Skinner went live on Facebook while in the process of being fired from his job at a Youngstown, Ohio Taco Bell for refusing to change his Black Lives Matter face mask.

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Culture Feature

"White Blessing": the Insanity of Pastor Louie Giglio's Rebranding of White Privilege

Pastor Louie Giglio tried to make the concept of white privilege more palatable to a white audience in the worst possible way

Photo by Emile Seguin (Unsplash)

Pastor Louie Giglio is clearly a forward-thinking Christian man—or at least he tries to be.

Head of the Atlanta-based Passion City Church, he wanted to have a conversation that got to the root of societal ills that are coming to a head in the dramatic protests against police brutality taking place in the wake of George Floyd's murder. As an acclaimed public speaker who preaches to diverse audiences of thousands, Giglio was savvy enough to realize that he needed a Black voice to join him in this conversation if he wanted to be taken seriously.

That's where Christian rapper Lecrae came in—sitting across from Giglio and Chik-Fil-A CEO Dan Cathy for an episode of Passion City Church's talk show, The Beloved Community and nodding along as the conversation went off the rails.

In Lecrae's defense, Giglio led into his craziness with a lot of the right talking points. He gave Lecrae some space to express his point of view and to relate some personal experiences, and he went on to acknowledge the centuries of American history working to oppress Black people to this day. He even expressed the important concept that foundational changes are necessary because, as he put it, "The system's not broken, the system was built this way."

The Beloved Community - Dan Cathy, Lecrae, Louie

These are some of the most important ideas for white people to grasp in beginning the process of recognizing and fighting against white supremacy, and the sincerity with which Giglio talked about them was only partially undermined by his occasional reference to Black people simply as "Blacks"... Unfortunately, as Giglio makes clear about 21 minutes into the conversation, these ideas are only the beginning, and if they are not incorporated into a deep realignment of both self-conception and understanding of society, then they can result in some very disturbing half-formed concepts.

Blessing vs. Privilege

Enter "white blessing." It's Giglio's attempt to reframe the concept of white privilege to make it more palatable for the most stubborn and willfully ignorant white people, who hear the words "white privilege," and—as Giglio puts it—"it just is like a fuse goes off ... because they don't want someone telling them to check their privilege." What Giglio misses, as he tries to recast that phrase in order to "get down to the heart" of the issue with those people is that what those people are rejecting is the heart of the issue.

While it may not feel good to call so many of your fellow white people out for harboring malignant racism—even on a subconscious level—Giglio's solution makes things perfectly clear. Because in order to prefer the phrase "white blessing" over the very clear concept of white privilege, you have to buy into the basic argument of white supremacy. Because while privileges can be bestowed by anyone with sufficient power, blessings imply a divine origin.

In other words, the term "white blessing" implies that the historical hierarchy that has favored white people and afflicted all people of color—though especially Black people—is part of the natural order of things. It implies that god chose to bless white people with societal power and the fruits of Black people's labor but now white people should be kind and share the blessings that god gave them with Black people.

The fact that this perspective is wholly, shockingly incompatible with the reality of centuries of violent oppression perpetuated by white people and the power structures they controlled should have been obvious to Giglio before he even opened his mouth. But clearly it wasn't, and somehow even the horrifying phrase "the blessing of slavery" didn't wake him up to that fundamentally disconnect.

Moving on Without Them

To be clear, Giglio was attempting to contrast the "blessing" of how the work of slaves built so much of white America's prosperity (and, you know, privilege...) with what he refers to as "the curse that was slavery,"—i.e. the inhuman horrors of chattel slavery that tens of millions of Black people were subjected to over centuries. But if this is what it takes for some white Americans to acknowledge that they have benefited from the oppression of Black people, then they just aren't ready—society needs to move on without them.

Giglio has since issued an apology message saying that it was a "horrible choice of words" that "does not reflect [his] heart at all." And Lecrae, who received criticism for seeming to just sit by while Giglio spouted nonsense, responded by saying that he spoke with Pastor Giglio about the issue after the fact, and he is "obviously not okay with changing white privilege to 'white blessing,' that's a privilege in and of itself," adding, "Even as I sat there I was very uncomfortable ... I was processing like, 'Man, how do Iwhat do I do?'"

Whether we accept Giglio's apology or not, we can't blame Lecrae for being taken aback in that bizarre situation. Because while Giglio clearly put a lot of thought into his "horrible choice of words," it was the kind of thinking that betrays a warped perspective that is all too common in America—that we need to somehow make societal change more comfortable for the most ignorant and stubborn racists among us.

We don't. We can move on without them.