Is Tucker Carlson right that the Kenosha riots are class war masquerading as a race conflict?


Fact Box

  • Fox News host, Tucker Carlson stated “As if we needed more evidence that this is actually a class war masquerading as a race conflict.”. “That's exactly what it is designed to [do]: crush America's middle class. And it's working.”
  • Protests have run rampant within the last three days -- buildings set ablaze, “two people killed after a rifle-wielding 17-year-old opened fire,” and chaos with law enforcement firing tear gas and rubber bullets into crowds.
  • Wednesday, President Trump announced he was sending federal agents to Kenosha, just like he did with Portland, Oregon, against the advice of local elected officials.
  • Wisconsin is “racially progressive and oppressive at the same time.” Historically, it was a place of refuge for those who escaped slavery, but the state also took out a piece of its constitution that would have called for a referendum on Black male suffrage; by 1848, the constitution ended up allowing only white men to vote. 
  • Kenosha’s population totals 100,000, Black residents represent 11.5% of the community, one of the most segregated cities in the U.S.

Bill (Yes)

Tucker Carlson is right that the riots occurring in Kenosha, WI, are class war masquerading as a race conflict for the following reasons:

First, the protests taking place in Kenosha are not peaceful—instead, they have been marked by burning, looting, destruction, and violence—hallmarks of a class war. Punish the 'haves' (i.e., small business owners, law-abiding residents, etc.) to benefit the 'have nots.' The rioters carry no signs expressing a civil rights-minded point of view; rather, they come armed with baseball bats, explosives, and other mayhem tools.  

Second, race conflicts typically involve aggrieved victims. But in Kenosha, the rioters consist mainly of young white anarchists. As Victor Davis Hanson explains: 'cultural revolutions are incoherent and nihilist. The brand of the anarchist is not logic but envy-driven power.' The rioters have no race claim at stake. In fact, most of the damage has been inflicted on the black business district, and even a department of correction building was set ablaze.

Third, there are no justice goals laid out by Kenosha rioter/protestors (typically emblematic of a race conflict). Instead, Antifa (along with Black Lives Matter), who are on the front lines of the riots, 'is all about revolutionary change and using demonstrations to trigger greater social unrest.' The aim of the Kenosha riots appears to be to create chaos and challenge local authorities to act against them.

Tucker Carlson has correctly diagnosed the Kenosha riots as a class war to destabilize the status quo, pitting protesters against the middle-class establishment. Race conflicts don't intentionally harm the group they claim to be concerned about, which is Tucker's point. 

Tyler (No)

Tucker Carlson demonstrated how out of touch he is with the United States' overflowing racial tension when he claimed that recent civil rights protests, including the Kenosha, Wisconsin riots were a 'class war masquerading as racial conflict.' The recent riots are quite simply a product of racial inequality in our country and nothing other than that. Carlson claimed the 'Hispanic middle class' was not seen rioting, but such a broad statement is impossible to prove. When claiming it is a 'class war,' Carlson never identified which specific economic class is trying to demolish the middle class. He expressed to his listeners that 'Joe Biden's voters are a threat to you and your family.' An argument can possibly be made that this is a war among Democrats and Republicans, but to say that this has anything to do with economic standing is just Carlson vying for attention. 

These riots aren't intended to 'crush' the middle-class, as Carlson claimed. They are a direct response to the unfair treatment of minorities by the police in the United States. A 2009-2012 study on physical altercations with police concluded Black people were 2.8 times more likely to die than white people, while Latinos were 2.4 times more likely to die than White people. Those protesting at Kenosha are breaking barriers by representing citizens of all skin color, class, and ages with the common goal of confronting the detrimental issue of police brutality and systemic racism in the United States.

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