Things That Matter

According To This Fox News Host, AOC’s District Is Dirty Because Of Undocumented Immigrants

Tucker Carlson and guest Seth Barron continued to espouse their conspiracy theory-driven worldviews on his nightly Fox News show, this time targeting the residents of Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s district. Carlson mocked AOC’s support of the clean energy bill, the Green New Deal, claiming that the areas of Queens and The Bronx she represents are not “clean.” 

The conservative news editor Barron then piled on saying the high percentage of undocumented immigrants in her districts is why they are “dirty.” The comments were immediately met with criticism and accusations of racism from members of AOC’s camp and other advocates. 

Carlson says AOC’s district is dirtier than others. 

“We’re connoisseurs of irony on this show, but if you claim to care about the environment, you’d think that the little piece of America you’re responsible for, that you represent in the Congress, would be clean but hers isn’t. Why?” Carlson asked of AOC during the segment.

The suggestion that AOC’s district NY-14 is dirtier than other neighborhoods is rooted in racism, not just because they’re targets of racism but because the reasons those neighborhoods might appear less tidy is racism. It has been well documented that the less affluent and white a neighborhood the less the state will invest in maintaining its appearance. Low-income neighborhoods are often the targets of dumps and hazardous waste sites

According to research by the University of Michigan, “Several decades of research in the field of environmental justice has established clear patterns of racial and socioeconomic disparities in the distribution of a large variety of environmental hazards. Hazardous waste sites, polluting industrial facilities and other locally unwanted land uses are disproportionately located in nonwhite and poor communities.”

This October the New York Lawyers for the Public Interest released a report claiming low-income neighborhoods in the Bronx and Queens, where some districts are represented by AOC, have become the reluctant receptacles of private waste haulers. 

“Private waste companies increased their use of truck-based transfer stations by 35 percent, with 81 percent of all commercial trash hauled through these stations via truck, the report asserts,” according to the Queens Daily Eagle. “The locations where they stations are, however, such as Southeast Queens, the South Bronx, and Northern Brooklyn, have left residents complaining about the strong smell, air pollution and road hazards from the increased number of trucks.”

Perhaps, this is the reason why AOC supports clean energy and sustainability initiatives: they are in the best interest of her district’s constituents. However, Barron claims that AOC’s district is just downright un-American. 

Barron claims the reason AOC’s district is dirty is because of undocumented immigrants.

“Well, part of the reason is because her district is actually one of the least American districts in the country,” Barron quickly responded. “And by that, I don’t mean that it’s not part of America, but it’s occupied by relatively few American citizens. A very high percentage of her district is, in fact, illegal aliens.”

According to the Huffington Post, there is little evidence that the immigrants who live in AOC’s district are there illegally or that undocumented immigrants, who commit fewer crimes than citizens, are somehow dirtier. Barron said undocumented immigrants ruin the environment by pouring pig grease, which is organic matter and biodegradable, into gutters. 

“So they wind up producing a lot of garbage that the landlords don’t want thrown out normally,” he said. “So hence, you wind up with a lot of garbage on the streets. You have illegal food vendors pouring their pig grease into the gutters. I mean I worked out there, it can be a little gross.”

This year Carlson came under fire for defending child rape and convicted child rapists, calling women “extremely primitive,” and saying he felt “sorry for unattractive women.” Carlson, along with Fox News has seemingly been bleeding advertisers during the Trump era largely due to revelations about intra-company sexual assault, sexist comments, and offensive remarks about immigrants.  

Critics respond to Carlson’s anti-immigrant remarks.

Former AOC strategist WaleedShahid said Carlson was “broadcasting the oldest variety of anti-immigrant bulls**t: ‘they’re dirty'” to target the popular congresswoman. 

Many thinkers on the left called Carlson’s and Fox News racist for the anti-immigrant views they espouse. 

“Every citizen is 100% American no matter where they’re from,” said Young Turks host Cenk Uygur. “This is what GOP thinks of the rest of us—dirty immigrants. Then they wonder why we think they’re racists.”

Barron later tried to defend his attack claiming that 46.2 percent of AOC’s district is foreign-born and that proves his point. However, Mediaite notes, “It is completely false for Barron to imply foreign-born immigrants are also undocumented or are not US citizens. Notably, the Trump administration abandoned its attempts to add a citizenship question to the census this past summer, after losing a high-profile Supreme Court fight.”

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