The Fix | Analysis
August 10, 2018 at 11:19 AM
Fox News host Laura Ingraham attempted Thursday to clarify her comments about the nation’s changing demographics that were broadly criticized as xenophobic and racist, but the one thing she didn’t do is apologize.
On Wednesday, Ingraham criticized Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Democratic congressional nominee who will represent a New York district with a large immigrant community if elected in November. Ingraham then dove into a monologue on how many Americans are upset about the country’s demographic changes:
In some parts of the country, it does seem like the America we know and love doesn’t exist anymore. Massive demographic changes have been foisted upon the American people. And they’re changes that none of us ever voted for and most of us don’t like. From Virginia to California, we see stark examples of how radically in some ways the country has changed. Now much of this is related to both illegal, and in some cases, legal immigration that, of course, progressives love.
In her initial remarks Wednesday, Ingraham said her frustrations had nothing to do with race but were about immigration. The segment incurred a wave of backlash, as well as apparently some cheering from nationalists and white supremacists.
On Thursday she blasted the supremacists who cheered her earlier segment, as well as those who interpreted her words to be discriminatory.
“Despite what some may be contending, I made explicitly clear that my commentary had nothing to do with race or ethnicity. But rather a shared goal of keeping America safe and her citizens safe and prosperous,” she said.
But the fact is Ingraham’s comments had everything to do with race. One can’t talk about demographic changes in America without talking about race and ethnicity. And her viewers, many of whom admittedly latched onto Donald Trump’s presidency because of their own anxieties about America changing culturally and racially, know this as well.
The biggest ethnic demographic change in the U.S. population is that Latinos now make up nearly 18 percent of the population. And the fastest growing ethnic group in the country is Asian Americans. As has been repeatedly reported, the majority of Americans will be people of color by 2044.
Ingraham’s more racially “anxious” viewers heard her clearly — as did an unapologetic white supremacist like David Duke, a former Republican lawmaker and Ku Klux Klan grand wizard who called Wednesday’s monologue “one of the most important (truthful) monologues in the history of MSM” in a now-deleted tweet.
But what her viewers — and critics — did not hear from Ingraham was an apology, which is understandable considering how Trumpism has consumed the right. One of the key rules of dealing with conflict, according to President Trump, is to never apologize. And ideally, to double down when criticized. That appears to be what Ingraham did. And in another Trump move, she criticized her critics and the media for reporting and critiquing her exact words.