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Whitlock: Only racists believe Tucker Carlson was wrong for playing political football with Ketanji Brown Jackson

Op-ed
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

I scored a highly unimpressive 880 on the SAT. I graduated from Ball State University magna cum hungover with a 2.23 grade point average. In the spring and summer of 1990, every newspaper editor who read my cover letter and resume wrote back informing me that I was unqualified for full-time work.

One of my biggest regrets in life is how unserious I was about academics as a child. I loved football and socializing. I approached my education as a mash-up of the movies “Fast Times at Ridgemont High,” “Animal House,” and “All the Right Moves.” My laissez-faire approach to study meant that I had to start my career as a journalist at the very bottom. After five years of college, I was extremely fortunate to land a part-time, $5-an-hour job at a small newspaper in southern Indiana.

My academic performance did not foreshadow my rise in sports journalism.

I mention all of this because blue-check media rushed to Twitter last night to call Fox News host Tucker Carlson racist for asking about the LSAT score of black Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson.

I was Tucker’s first guest after the monologue. I’m not a huge proponent of judging the competence of seasoned, adult professionals on standardized tests taken two or three decades earlier. But Carlson’s snark did not remotely bother me. It did not strike me as racist.

It struck me as standard politics.

Politics is a game of Dick Butkus tackle football. Buckle up or stay on the sideline. President Joe Biden called a play for Brown Jackson to go over the middle. Carlson is a safety assigned the responsibility of bringing down and/or dislodging the football from political operatives who dare to catch the ball in the middle of the field.

Carlson is Ronnie Lott. Brown Jackson is a promising rookie receiver Carlson welcomed to the NFL with a hard hit. It wasn’t dirty. The dirty hits don’t come until the confirmation hearings.

Ask Supreme Court Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Clarence Thomas. The Democrats hit Kavanaugh with allegations dating back to high school. They unearthed a woman who claimed the teenage Kavanaugh groped her inappropriately at a teenage party. They called it sexual assault. His defenders called it high school in the 1970s and 1980s. It was a dirty hit. No one called the attack racist.

Democrats blindsided Thomas with allegations of pubic hairs, Coke cans, and harassment. A black woman, Anita Hill, uncorked the very late hit. Thomas called it a high-tech lynching.

Kavanaugh and Thomas are conservatives. Conservatives, regardless of color, are allowed to play tackle football. Corporate media does not care how hard or late you hit a conservative.

But liberals – white and black – do not believe black liberals are capable of playing tackle football in the NFL of politics. Black liberals must be shielded from the hard and dirty hits commonplace in political football.

Bill and Hillary Clinton can withstand persistent rumors that they’ve collaborated in the murders of everyone from Jeffrey Epstein to Abraham Lincoln without claiming racial victimization. The Clintons are some of the hardest hitters in political football.

The people whining about Carlson’s LSAT remark and questions about President Barack Obama’s birth certificate do not know or comprehend America’s political history.

They’ve never heard the story of Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr, political rivals who dueled to the death. In 1804, Hamilton was a former treasury secretary and Burr was vice president. Things got so heated between the two that they agreed to duel with pistols. Burr shot and killed Hamilton. Authorities charged Burr with murder, but eventually dropped the charges.

Politics is a blood sport. It’s not a safe space. The fight for power is 100 times more dangerous than a UFC octagon or boxing ring.

If you’re not a history buff, then I suggest you watch the HBO TV show “Game of Thrones.” The point of the show is to illustrate what men and women will do in pursuit of power. There’s nothing we won’t do. To succeed his brother, Stannis Baratheon burned his young daughter to death on a stake.

Liberals believe black people are not man or woman enough for political football. It’s infuriating and insulting. Any attack on a black liberal is flagged for racism.

Tucker Carlson barely touched Ketanji Brown Jackson. She can wipe off the dirt and continue her journey to the Supreme Court. If she can’t handle questions about the test she took to qualify for law school, she’s not qualified for the high court.
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