The Fox News host Tucker Carlson lashed out at Barack Obama for delivering a eulogy for the civil-rights icon John Lewis in which he drew parallels between the racist policing of the 1960s and the police response to the George Floyd protests.
On Thursday night’s edition of “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” the host played a clip of Obama’s oration at Lewis’ funeral earlier that day.
Obama addressed the protests against police brutality that have swept the US and praised Lewis as a founding father of “a fuller, better” America.
At the service at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Obama directly connected the racist policing and politicians of the 1960s that Lewis and other civil-rights figures fought and the police response to today’s anti-racism protests sparked by Floyd’s death.
“Bull Connor may be gone, but today we witness with our own eyes police officers kneeling on the necks of Black Americans,” Obama said. “George Wallace may be gone, but we can witness our federal government sending agents to use tear gas and batons against peaceful demonstrators.”
He also called for eliminating the Senate’s filibuster rule, which has been used as a partisan technique to avoid passing voting-reform legislation.
Obama received a standing ovation, but Carlson accused the former president of using the event to score political points.
“It’s hard to believe that clip is real, but it is, down to the coined fake accent, Mr. Hawaii Guy,” Carlson said. “But take three steps back. Imagine if some greasy politician showed up at your loved one’s funeral and started throwing around stupid partisan talking points about Senate procedure.
“Can you imagine that? You would be shocked if that happened. You’d probably walk out. Desecrating a funeral with campaign slogans? What kind of person would do that?”
He added: “The country falling apart, riven by racial strife and tribalism, and one of the most respected people in the whole country decides to pour gasoline on that and compare the police to Bull Connor?
The historian Kevin Kruse pointed out in a tweet that the themes Obama addressed were the same ones Lewis wrote about in an op-ed article in The New York Times that was published posthumously, on the day of his funeral.
News – Tucker Carlson attacked Barack Obama as a ‘greasy politician’ for addressing civil rights and police racism at civil-rights icon John Lewis’ funeral