[Editor’s Note: Since this story was published, some tweets have been deleted.]
On Wednesday night, Washington, D.C.-based Antifa group Smash Racism DC showed up at the home of Fox News host Tucker Carlson to send a message: They know where he lives, and he is not safe.
Like with its other encounters, Smash Racism DC shared footage of its protest on Twitter. Within hours of posting the videos, however, Smash Racism DC’s account was suspended by Twitter. Archived tweets of the incident show Smash Racism DC said the phrases, “Tucker Carlson, we will fight! We know where you sleep at night!” “Racist scum, leave this town!” and “No borders! No walls! No USA at all!”
Smash Racism DC attempted to justify going to Carlson’s home by saying, “Every night you spread fear into our homes—fear of the other, fear of us, and fear of them. Each night you tell us we are not safe. Tonight you’re reminded that we have a voice. Tonight, we remind you that you are not safe either.”
Before the Twitter account was suspended, a post reportedly included a photo with Carlson’s home address. Carlson told Fox News that along with his own address, Smash Racism shared the addresses of his brother and Neil Patel, Carlson’s fellow Daily Caller co-founder.
According to Fox News, Carlson was not at his home at the time of the incident, but his wife locked herself in the pantry, reportedly fearing a home invasion. Carlson told Fox the protesters broke his door.
The actions of Smash Racism DC were endorsed by other groups such as Resist This and Shut It Down DC. In a tweet, Resist This claimed the mob “came to your home b/c your politics promote breaking up families in ICE facilities, not giving a fuck when black people or trans people are murdered, or when poor people do not have food.” They also tweeted at Carlson to “stop being a fear monger-er [sic] that makes society less safe for migrants, women, trans, queer, indigenous, black, poor people, Jews and Muslims.” Shut It Down DC, another anti-fascist group, shared the footage in its own post, adding, “Maybe do not promote racism and bigotry on a daily basis and we won’t publicly shame you at your home.”
While many journalists across the political spectrum condemned the actions against Carlson, some joined in to mock him. ThinkProgress editor Adam Peck, for example, said in a now-deleted tweet it was a “real shame racists can’t spread their bile in peace anymore,” but he felt “[c]omplete and total sympathy for his wife and family, who have been placed in a tragic situation by their sack of shit husband and father.” When CNN host Brian Stelter shared his condemnation of the Antifa mob, former Snopes managing editor (now Truth or Fiction managing editor) Brooke Binkowski mockingly chimed in, “Oh please.” and INSIDER senior editor Julie Gerstein asked, “O RLY? have you WATCHED Tucker Carlson @brianstelter ???”
In a series of now-deleted tweets, Matt Yglesias of Vox reflected on the incident, opining that while Smash Racism’s technique “is probably not tactically sound,” “if your instinct is to empathize with the fear of the Carlson family rather than with the fear of his victims then you should take a moment to reflect on why that is.” Yglesias followed up by saying, “I honestly cannot empathize with Tucker Carlson’s wife at all — I agree that protesting at her house was tactically unwise and shouldn’t be done — but I am utterly unable to identify with her plight on any level.”
Smash Racism DC’s appearance at Carlson’s home comes days after President Trump mocked the group while appear
ing at two campaign events. While speaking, Trump tried both times to demonstrate how small and weak Antifa members allegedly are and how they “go back home, and they get yelled at by mom and dad.” Trump also said the press does not want to talk about Antifa.
After Trump mocked Antifa, New York Magazine writer Jonathan Chait condemned Trump’s rhetoric towards the group, writing in his headline, “Trump Isn’t Inciting Violence by Mistake, But on Purpose. He Just Told Us.” In his piece, Chait argued that Antifa is “the miniscule faction [of Trump’s opposition] operating totally outside of, and frequently at odds with the Democratic Party,” even though its tactics of publicly berating Trump administration members were endorsed by Rep. Maxine Waters (D-California).
Carlson, though a potential influence on the president, is not a member of the Trump administration or even a Republican politician charged with writing administration policy; he is the host of a popular television show.
Speaking to the Washington Post, Carlson said, “It wasn’t a protest. It was a threat.”
“They weren’t protesting anything specific that I had said,” he continued. “They weren’t asking me to change anything. They weren’t protesting a policy or advocating for legislation . . . . They were threatening me and my family and telling me to leave my own neighborhood in the city that I grew up in.”
Before setting their sights on Carlson, Antifa’s actions have largely targeted politicians and speakers at their events—not journalists at their homes. In September, Smash Racism DC interrupted a meal by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and wrote, “No—you can’t eat in peace—your politics are an attack on all of us[.] You’re [sic] votes are a death wish. Your votes are hate crimes.”
Now, Antifa is saying mere words promote hate.