A former leader of the KKK celebrated Tucker Carlson ‘finally’ sharing the white-supremacist ‘great replacement’ conspiracy theory

Tucker Carlson, host of 'Tucker Carlson Tonight,' poses for photos in a Fox News Channel studio on March 2, 2017, in New York.
The neo-Nazi David Duke said Tucker Carlson has ‘finally’ started talking about the ‘great replacement’ white supremacist conspiracy theory. AP Photo/Richard Drew, File
  • David Duke said Tucker Carlson was “finally” promoting the “great replacement” conspiracy theory.
  • The conspiracy theory involves thinking whites are intentionally being replaced by other races.
  • Duke also said that former president Donald Trump “took almost word for word” from his platform.

Former Ku Klux Klan (KKK) leader David Duke said Tucker Carlson has “finally” started promoting the “great replacement” conspiracy theory, which is associated with white supremacy.

The “great replacement” theory alleges that white people are being systematically and intentionally replaced by people of other races through mass immigration, according to Media Matters for America, a left-leaning non-profit organization that tracks right-wing media.

Duke said in an October 13 episode of his podcast, which airs on his website, that Carlson “has finally come around” to talking about a “demographic threat” that white Americans face, playing footage from Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”

“How could I be an evil guy,” Duke asked rhetorically at one point during the podcast, when Carlson was espousing “all the fundamental things” he said.

David Duke.
David Duke is seen on a large screen display during Day 1 of the Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on July 25, 2016. SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

Duke also appeared to take credit for Carlson’s turn toward embracing the “great replacement” theory.

Carlson has long spread anti-immigration rhetoric and in the last year has appeared to reference the “great replacement” theory, which is frequently adopted and spread by white supremacists, on multiple occasions.

“Tucker Carlson is talking about replacement theory, well I knew it was going on way back then, way back in 1991,” Duke, who founded a Louisiana chapter of the KKK in 1974, said in the podcast episode, referencing his own 1991 failed bid to become Louisiana governor.

Carlson has previously referenced ‘great replacement’ verbatim

Tucker Carlson speaks during the Mathias Corvinus Collegium (MCC) Feszt on August 7, 2021 in Esztergom, Hungary.
Tucker Carlson speaks during the Mathias Corvinus Collegium Feszt on August 7, 2021 in Esztergom, Hungary. Janos Kummer/Getty Images

In April, Carlson appeared to reference the theory on his show when he said that “the Democratic Party is trying to replace the current electorate – the voters now casting ballots – with new people, more obedient voters from the Third World,” as Insider previously reported.

Carlson’s comments drew intense backlash, including the Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) CEO sending a letter to Fox News’ CEO asking for the commentator’s resignation, but he hasn’t backed down from the position.

During a segment on the September 22 episode of his show, while criticizing President Joe Biden’s handling of the US southern border, Carlson said Biden was trying to “change the racial mix of the country” and “reduce the political power of the people whose ancestors lived here and dramatically increase the population of Americans newly arrived from the third world,” echoing the fundamentals of the conspiracy theory.

“This policy is called the great replacement,” he continued. “The replacement of legacy Americans with more obedient people from faraway countries.”

In addition to Carlson, other prominent right-wing figures like the Florida Representative Matt Gaetz have embraced and promoted the “great replacement” conspiracy theory.

The ‘great replacement’ theory has been linked to mass shootings and antisemitism

The “great replacement” idea dates back to early 20th century France, according to the ADL, and began circulating widely in the US in the last decade. While the US has grown more diverse over the last decade and the white population declined for the first time in American history, as the US Census Bureau reported last summer, there is no evidence to support the idea that white people are being systematically replaced by nonwhite people.

The “great replacement” theory has been linked to multiple mass shootings by white supremacists, including in 2019 when Brenton Tarrant live-streamed himself killing 51 people in two mosque shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand. Tarrant had written a 74-page racist, anti-immigrant manifesto titled “The Great Replacement” that he posted online the day before he carried out the attack.

Later that year, right before Patrick Crusius killed 23 people at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, a similarly racist manifesto that made references to “The Great Replacement,” according to ADL, began to spread online. Investigators believed it was authored by Crusius, the Washington Post reported.

It is also associated with antisemitism, as many white supremacists believe that Jewish people are responsible for nonwhite people immigrating to the United States, according to the ADL. Duke has a long history of espousing racist and antisemitic conspiracy theories, according to the civil rights legal advocacy group Southern Poverty Law Center.

Fox News did not respond to a request for comment.

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