Celisa Calacal, a writer for Salon, appeared on Tucker Carlson Tonight to defend claims that she wrote in a piece for Salon titled “America is suffering from a plague of deadly, unaccountable and racist police violence.”
Tucker started the interview by saying that he disagreed with the generalizations Calacal made in her piece, including police as a group being racist and violent.
“Well in my piece I never actually said that police are racist,” Calacal said.
“What I talk about is police violence and the rate of police officers who kill civilians. In recent years if you look at the numbers in 2015 and 2016 over a thousand people have been shot and killed by police officers.”
“I don’t want to contradict you because you seem sincere,” responded Tucker. “I don’t know if you can see but we have got the headline of your piece up on the screen right next to you and it says, and I’m quoting, ‘America is suffering from a plague of deadly, unaccountable and racist police violence.’”
“A plague of it. That seems like a generalization, now, I would agree with you completely any shooting is too many shootings but this is complicated stuff,” Tucker continued. “So to dismiss it as, your piece did, racist without proving that seemed unfair and not really like journalism.”
Some of the things Tucker might be referring to in the piece could be when Calacal said Donald Trump used fear-mongering as the main point of his campaign, and Jeff Sessions was deemed too racist to become a federal judge.
“A national election ended with Donald Trump, whose campaign largely centered around fear-mongering and promises to restore law and order, being elected the country’s 45th president. Jeff Sessions, who was once denied a federal judgeship because he was deemed too racist, became the head of the Department of Justice,” the piece reads.
“While the death of these two black men prompted many people across the country to demand greater accountability for the actions of police officers, their power to use excessive force against civilians remains largely unchecked without any added oversight. In fact, Trump’s election and his nomination of Sessions to the Justice Department offer even more credence to police officers’ power, as both men have been openly supportive of furthering police powers,” Calacal claimed in her piece.
“The state of police violence and police accountability remains bleak and the fight for justice continues to be hindered.”
Calacal’s piece also gives very little context when she describes the deaths civilians that have been made into high profile cases in the media.
“Baton Rouge officers Blane Salamoni and Howie Lake II were the two officers who confronted Alton Sterling outside a convenience store. A federal investigation into the incident found that the entire confrontation lasted a mere 90 seconds, in which the officers wrestled Sterling to the ground, tased him and then shot him a total of six times,” she says when describing the death of Alton Sterling.
The way Calacal wrote this simplifies the situation so much that it cannot be taken seriously. No details are given whatsoever. The same happens when she describes the death of Philando Castile.
“Officer Jeronimo Yanez was charged with second-degree manslaughter last fall for shooting and killing Castile during a traffic stop. His trial began in early June, and after about two weeks, the majority-white jury acquitted him of all charges,” she wrote. No mention of the evidence that was presented or any detail to the situation at all.
“To charge that racism is at the core of this without any evidence, because you don’t actually have any evidence at all and there is some countervailing evidence, makes people more fearful, makes them hate each other, makes our society way less happy and less trusting and so it’s a big deal to charge something like that and don’t you think you should pull back until you can prove it?” says Tucker.