Tucker Carlson has never been known as much of an independent thinker, or a logical one, but he sure is full of ideas. Most of them terrible. Such was the case on Thursday night, when Carlson told his viewers about a “puzzling trend” he was seeing as it relates to traffic deaths.
“In the year 2020, the number of motorists who died on the road spiked dramatically,” Carlson explained. “Traffic deaths rose by more than 10 percent in a single year.” While he said this number would be significant in any year, he determined it was even more so in the year 2020, given that the country was in the early throes of the COVID pandemic, meaning many people were not driving to work or on the road. (Funny how COVID is an actual scourge when it’s convenient for Tucker.) Yet even though our roads were less crowded, the number of people who were killed on them rose. And “a staggering number of those who died were Black. Traffic deaths among African Americans rose by nearly 25 percent in a single year,” Carlson said, calling that number “unprecedented.”
Carlson, ever the good citizen, wanted to get to the bottom of why this was happening—mostly because he insists that “in a normal presidential administration,” this would be an urgent matter. But according to Carlson, the Biden administration is not a “normal” presidential administration, because Joe Biden doesn’t care. Neither does Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, because Carlson says Buttigieg already knows why these numbers are spiking: Racism.
“America’s roads are racist,” Carlson stated. “They’re killing Black people.”
While Carlson quoted The Washington Post’s conclusion that “Black communities tend to be crisscrossed by more dangerous roads,” he didn’t give that quote any further context. If he had, he would have also noted that “during the pandemic, people of color were more likely to be employed in ‘essential’ jobs without the option to stay home. And people driving faster amid lower traffic levels meant crashes were more likely to be deadly.”
While it’s an important part of the story, Carlson didn’t go there. Because that would be inconvenient to his theory.
Tucker Carlson claims auto fatalities rose because cops were too scared to pull over Black drivers pic.twitter.com/UOor9PlQpw
— Andrew Lawrence (@ndrew_lawrence) April 22, 2022
So what does Carlson think the real story is? Two words: George Floyd. Actually, that’s four words by Carlson’s count: “convicted felon George Floyd.” Yes, Tucker is blaming the increase in vehicular deaths in Black communities on a man who was murdered by police.
As proof, Carlson notes that in June of 2020, just weeks after Floyd’s death on May 25, 2020, “Everything changed. [But] what changed most of all is how we regard the rule of law.”
Carlson, of course, was not referring to the police officers who murdered Floyd when referring to “the rule of law.” In the wake of Floyd’s murder, Carlson believes that “Cops across the country were told to stop enforcing traffic laws against Black drivers. No one wanted to be accused of arresting somebody for the crime of ‘driving while Black.’ So in the name of equity, the law no longer applied to huge numbers of people. Result? Thousands of Americans died.”