On June 5 2020, a viral tweet circulated, featuring Fox News pundit Tucker Carlson, a chyron reading “what does racism look like?,” and commentary about becoming your own meme:
In the tweet, @SocialPowerOne1 wrote:
That moment when you meme yourself. ????????
Although the image was in circulation in early June 2020, it was not new. The same image was shared to meme aggregator me.me in January 2019, with an additional caption:
Tucker unwittingly asks a good question. He may not like the answer.
A reverse image search led to a January 17 2019 Newsweek article about a segment on Carlson’s Fox News show, and it began:
During his show [in mid-January 2019], Fox News host Tucker Carlson ticked off examples of what he said racism looked like, decrying the likes of Harvard, BuzzFeed and slavery reparations campaigners as racist.
Carlson is himself under pressure over racism allegations that resulted in major sponsors suspending their commercial relationship with the show after Carlson, in a December segment on migration, said migrants made America “dirtier.”
“So the consensus is the racism is on the right, only conservatives can be racist. So that raises a few questions. What exactly is racism? What does it look like? How do you know if you are racist?” Carlson said on Tucker Carlson Tonight, adding he had a “handy checklist for you.”
As Carlson spoke, headlines from various media stories appeared on the screen. The first was a story in The New York Times about the lawsuit against Harvard, accusing the elite university of discriminating against Asian-Americans in its admissions policies.
A non-embeddable video of Carlson’s “what does racism look like?” segment appeared with the article, alongside a description of his comments while the chyron was displayed. As such, the image was authentic — Carlson did appear alongside a chyron which read “what does racism look like?,” and the image resurfaced and spread virally in June 2020.