Time To Do Far More Than Just ‘Call Them Out’
After yesterday’s slaughter of mostly Black people at a Buffalo supermarket by a man espousing “replacement theory,” it is time to hold to account the foremost advocates of this deranged, Nazi-style belief: Fox News “personality” Tucker Carlson and J.D. Vance, Republican Senate candidate from Ohio. They are inciting to genocide, a crime under the UN Convention on Genocide, to which the United States is a party.
You may get the impression I take this personally, dear reader. You would be right. My family is in danger from these people. We are Jewish, and I have a Latino immigrant son. By the lights of antisemitic replacement theory, that makes us plotters to “replace” white Christians and marks us for death. Our local police department already stations officers permanently at our synagogue—but, as we saw yesterday in Buffalo, even that may not be enough to protect us from genocidaires with high-powered rifles and body armor, thank you so much, Wayne LaPierre. It does not matter that neither Carlson nor Vance mentions Jews explicitly. The people they are speaking to understand without being told, and can find all the fabricated and delusional details they want online, as did yesterday’s perpetrator and the one who murdered Jewish worshippers at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh in 2018. “In every generation, they rise up to destroy us,” the Passover Haggadah warns us every spring, and African Americans live every moment of their lives under the same shadow. If you are not a member of a similarly targeted group, it requires an effort of empathy to understand what it means to live with such multigenerational trauma.
No bluster about Carlson and Vance’s First Amendment rights, nor the irrelevant fact that Vance’s wife is of Asian Indian origin, can be allowed to distract us from the bloody consequences of their deadly propaganda. They have made themselves the equivalent of Nazi propagandist Julius Streicher, who was hanged at Nuremberg for his role in instigating the Holocaust through hateful incitement against the Jewish people. Let us resolve, as Americans, never to allow matters to reach such a pass, and take action against today’s Streichers now.
How? First of all, by bringing pressure to bear on Attorney General Merrick Garland to investigate Carlson and Vance. Here is a sample letter:
Dear Mr. Attorney General,
As the FBI under your direction investigates yesterday’s mass murder of shoppers at the Tops Friendly supermarket in Buffalo, N.Y., I believe it needs to take into account the promoters of the vile, racist “replacement theory”’ that the suspect reportedly used to justify his genocidal intentions and actions.
Under Article III(c) of the 1948 UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, to which the United States is a signatory, the “replacement theory” espoused by Fox News personality Tucker Carlson and Ohio Senate candidate J.D. Vance is “Direct and public incitement to commit genocide,” which is a punishable act. I believe these public figures must be investigated and held to account if the genocidal impulses triggered by “replacement theory” are to be quashed before further irreparable harm is done to American society and the American people.
Second, ask the fearless historian of the Holocaust Deborah Lipstadt, who is the Biden administration’s special envoy to monitor and combat antisemitism, to speak out.
Third, bring pressure to bear on Fox News and the companies that contribute advertising revenue to it, especially those that advertise on Carlson’s show; and also pressure contributors to Vance’s campaign such as Peter Thiel. Write to the likes of General Motors, CVS and Proctor & Gamble and demand to know why they are providing financial backing for incitement to genocide on Rupert Murdoch’s far-right propaganda network.
Will Garland, who has yet to bring any sort of charges against fascist leader Trump, ignore us? Will the big corporations who happily fund Fox blow us off? Will we be accused of trying to “cancel” poor innocent Tucker Carlson and J.D. Vance? Probably, and undoubtedly. But we dare not remain silent. And at the very least, it will be fascinating to hear Carlson and Vance attempt to explain why they are encouraging the mass murder of their fellow Americans.
Photo credit (both): Gage Skidmore