Fox News host Laura Ingraham wants everyone to know that she’s not racist. Unfortunately, she made that clarification by expressing more racism.
Ingraham opened her show Thursday night with some clarifying remarks about her opening monologue Wednesday night. “A message to those who are distorting my views, including all white nationalists and especially one racist freak whose name I will not even mention: You do not have my support,” she said. “You don’t represent my views and you are antithetical to the beliefs I hold dear.”
The “one racist freak” she didn’t name was former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, who praised her remarks as “one of the most important (truthful) monologues in the history of MSM [mainstream media].” It’s not hard to see why he found affinity with the way she had bemoaned how the “massive demographic changes” from immigration were making it “seem like the America that we know and love doesn’t exist anymore,” a claim that bears a strong resemblance with the white supremacist “14 words” slogan.
“[D]espite what some may be contending,” she explained Thursday night, “I made explicitly clear that my commentary had nothing to do with race or ethnicity, but rather a shared goal of keeping America safe, and her citizens safe and prosperous… My concern will continue to remain with the families who have suffered the tragic results of illegal immigration, the children put in dangerous and unfair situations at the border, and all those border agents around the country who work to keep our country safe.”
Unfortunately, this explanation does more to confirm how everyone interpreted her Wednesday night remarks than it did to correct them.
First of all, there was nothing in her original commentary that “made explicitly clear” that it had nothing to do with race or ethnicity. Indeed, it’s unclear what “massive demographic changes” she could have otherwise even been referring to, especially ones that would be visible, given she said, “We see [emphasis added] stark examples of how radically in some ways the country has changed.”
Moreover, her new comments imply that immigrants are inherently dangerous and that they somehow inhibit other people’s prosperity. This is still a rather xenophobic view about how immigration impacts society, one that echoes the similar white nationalist sentiments that her Fox News prime-time colleague Tucker Carlson has expressed. In June, for example, he claimed that immigration will lead to “the collapse of the American family.”
Ingraham also insisted that what she supports is “merit-based immigration,” because it “does wonders for our country’s economy, our way of life, and how we define our country.” Trump has likewise called for a merit-based system, which is the premise that the country should limit entry to people who are already professionally successful.
But the reality is that the diversity visa program already is a merit-based system. While Trump and others oppose this system because they believe it’s a pure “lottery,” it actually includes educational requirements, application fees, and a rigorous interview process.
It could be, however, that Ingraham, Trump, and others think the standard should be even higher. Indeed, Ingraham’s whole point this week seems to be that immigrants should only be admitted to the U.S. if they can fully assimilate to how people here are already living.
Preserving white culture from having to adapt to the inclusion of other traditions and customs is exactly what white nationalists advocate for, so Ingraham is only giving them more dogwhistles to latch onto.