Tucker Carlson wants you to know he totally isn’t bothered by all the flack he’s caught for not knowing how to pronounce Kamala Harris’ first name. And after Tucker ranted about how not bothered he is, guest commentator Chadwick Moore delivered a tasteless joke about Harris’ last name that could be interpreted as questioning her Blackness.
This topic came up Wednesday night because on his Tuesday show, when Tucker Carlson delivered his response to the news that Kamala Harris would be Joe Biden’s running mate on the Democratic ticket, he repeatedly mispronounced her name until his first guest corrected him.
But on Wednesday, Tucker pronounced her name correctly through his opening segment, but then he decided to yell about how CNN made fun of him for not knowing the correct pronunciation.
“So if you watched last night’s show you may recall that during the opening segment we apparently, unknowingly, mispronounced Kamala Harris’ name,” Tucker said to begin this little thread.
“Fine, it was a mistake. But it was treated as an act of bigotry, a grave offense against the honor of a sitting US senator. CNN was outrage. With all the things going on in the world said they wanted you to know that someone out there had mispronounced Kamala Harris’ name.”
After playing a few clips and making some jokes about tweets that some CNN folks had posted about the whole thing, “Tucker Carlson Tonight” pulled up a clip of Joe Biden mispronouncing Harris’ first name in the same way that Tucker had on Tuesday.
Then Carlson introduced his next guess, a guy named Chadwick Moore. “Now don’t you mispronounce her name, Chadwick!” Tucker said as Moore popped up on the screen.
Moore, from The Spectactor USA, took that as a prompt to make an extremely problematic joke about Harris.
“I’m so confused by this because I thought this was over her last name,” Moore joked, after which he pronounced Harris with an exaggerated French accent.
“It’s very African, extremely African, by way of India and Canada.”
Carlson laughed profusely at the joke.
This is a joke that functions to strip Harris of her Blackness by way of questioning her connection to Africa. It’s in line with conservative conspiracy theories about Harris’s lineage, which claim she is descended from a white Jamaican slave owner.
There’s no evidence whatsoever for this claim. And even if there were, it would not preclude her from being Black either way, it would only mean that her ancestors, like many slaves, were raped by their owners, which often resulted in producing the slave owner’s illegitimate children, who would then themselves be enslaved. You can read a detailed discussion of this topic over at Snopes.
And you can watch the relevant portion of Wednesday’s episode of “Tucker Carlson Tonight” in the video embedded in this article.