Usual Bigots Have Usual Racist Thoughts About Afghan Refugees
There's a lot to criticize about President Joe Biden's withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan and how his administration failed to cope with the resulting chaos. But rightwing media went straight to xenophobia and bigotry. It's as if their minds have only one setting, and it's racist.
Charlie Kirk, the living embodiment of “that fucking guy?", went on a deranged rant during his podcast Monday about how the Department of Defense accepting 30,000 refugees after the Taliban took over Kabul is part of some liberal master plan. It's hard to look at the past few days and see much evidence of “planning," but, please, Chuck, favor us with your theory.
KIRK: Let the country crumble — do you know there's five million displaced people in Afghanistan now? This was all intentional. Joe Biden let it all fall apart to say oh, I'm so sorry.
Flowers would've been more effective. Anyway, Kirk thinks Biden will appear benevolent and kind for admitting traumatized refugees into the country. He “guaranteed" that during Biden's speech later that afternoon, the president would discuss "refugee assistance and relocation support," which is not much of a Kreskin-style prediction.
KIRK: Do you see what's going on here? What's going on here is Joe Biden wants a couple hundred thousand more Ilhan Omars to come into America to change the body politic permanently. We're playing checkers and they're playing chess.
Oh, not an army of Ilhan Omars! The congresswoman was born in Somalia, which is not the same country as Afghanistan. They aren't even located on the same continent. The sitting Democratic president has a foreign policy disaster on his hands, and Kirk sounds like Pee-Wee Herman raving about a pen after his bike was stolen.
Democrats currently have just the one Ilhan Omar, who represents a district with a partisan lean of 26 points. But a “couple hundred thousand Ilhan Omars" would finally flip Texas! And of course, that's the great white replacement fear. But hey, hold on, we'll get to Tucker Carlson in a minute.
Last night on Fox News, professional terrible person Laura Ingraham asked outright, "Is it really our responsibility to welcome thousands of potentially unvetted refugees from Afghanistan?" Well, yes, under the “you break it, you bought it" principle of foreign policy. “Unvetted" was the coded language used against Syrian refugees in 2015. We have a refugee screening process that works. What we don't have is an adequate screening process for members of Congress.
INGRAHAM: All day, we've heard phrases like, "We've promised them." Well, who did? Did you?
We think it might've been the Statue of Liberty: "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore."
During his radio show, Sean Hannity used the fall of Afghanistan's government to pitch cell phones. You have to hear this:
HANNITY: There is a stampede, not only out of Afghanistan, but a stampede away from high prices, overpriced service from the big carriers like Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile. The average family making the switch to PureTalk.
Wow, that was incredibly insensitive.
But hey, at least it wasn't overtly evil like what came out of Tucker Carlson's open sewer mouth. Carlson, the most racist member of a primetime lineup that includes Laura Ingraham -- see above -- condemned Democrats and Republicans who were "the architects of the disaster we are watching unfold on television." Here's where we remind you that before Carlson embraced know-nothing isolationism, he was your standard neocon in a bullshit bowtie, actively cheerleading George W. Bush's multiple occupations and failed nation-building. In 2009, however, Carlson grossly said: “[Afghanistan's] never going to be a civilized country because the people aren't civilized. So -- but the question is can you mitigate the risk of, you know, Al Qaeda moving there again and setting up a home base unmolested? Yeah, you can do that."
Monday, Carlson suggested that the elites — of which he is not one, of course — who bungled us into doomed wars "should be groveling for our forgiveness, but they're not. Why? Because contrition requires decency. There's no chance." This statement reveals why attempts to shame Carlson are consistently pointless: His own indecency makes him incapable of contrition. He'll always double down, even when he's insulting members of the military or survivors of the January 6 Capitol attack.
Afghan refugees are victims of a humanitarian crisis, but even heartbreaking footage of fellow humans fleeing for their lives can't elicit sympathy from people like Carlson, who perversely described the refugees as “invaders."
CARLSON: [If] history is any guide -- and it's always a guide -- we will see many refugees from Afghanistan resettle in our country in coming months, probably in your neighborhood.
You hear that? In YOUR neighborhood, scared, pant-shitting white racists! Yes, expect Afghan refugees to move into the gated communities of Fox News viewers across the country. Your conservative relatives listen to this asshole.
CARLSON: And over the next decade, that number may swell to the millions.
The refugees might dare reproduce on our shores!
CARLSON: So, first we invade, and then we're invaded. It is always the same.
No, when America invades countries, it does so with bombs and tanks. People fleeing the oppressive regimes and murderous butchers we've often helped prop up aren't “invading" the United States.
You know, unless you're a white nationalist who's using what's just a really awful situation all around in order to stoke replacement theory fears. In that case, you might be Tucker Carlson.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. Once, he wrote a novel called “Mahogany Slade,” which you should read or at least buy. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."