- Fox News host Tucker Carlson attacked Barack Obama for discussing police violence in his funeral oration for civil rights icon John Lewis.
- “Imagine if some greasy politician showed up at your loved one’s funeral and started throwing around stupid partisan talking points about senate procedure,” said the host.
- In his oration Obama called for a reform of voting laws in the US, and drew parallels between racist policing in the 1960s — which Lewis experienced first-hand — and the response to the George Floyd anti-racism protests.
- In an op-ed written before he died, published on the day of his funeral, Lewis discussed the same issues raised by Obama.
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Fox News host Tucker Carlson lashed out at Barack Obama for delivering an oration at the funeral of 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 the oration delivered by Obama at Lewis’ funeral earlier that day.
In the speech, Obama addressed the ongoing protests against police brutality that have swept the US, and praised Lewis as a founding father of “a fuller, better” America.
—Acyn Torabi (@Acyn) July 31, 2020
At the service in the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Obama drew a direct connection between the racist policing and politicians of the 1960s Lewis and other civil rights figures fought against, and the police response to the George Floyd anti-racism protests of today.
“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 called for the elimination of the Senate’s filibuster rule, which has been used as a partisan technique to avoid passing legislation on voting reform.
Obama’s oration at the funeral was greeted with standing ovations, 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. Imagine if some greasy politician showed up at your loved one’s funeral and started throwing around stupid partisan talking points about senate procedure,” said Carlson.
“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?”
“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?
“As if America or Minneapolis is like Birmingham, Alabama in 1963? It’s insane. It’s reckless,” Carlson said of Obama’s words.
In a tweet historian Kevin Kruse pointed out that the themes Obama addressed in his oration were those that Lewis wrote about in an op-ed in The New York Times that was scheduled for publication on the day of his funeral.
—Kevin M. Kruse (@KevinMKruse) July 31, 2020