This is a stretch even for Fox News.
Fox hosts Diamond and Silk complained that Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN), who is white, was being "racially insensitive" when he mocked Trump Attorney General William Barr, who is also white.
Cohen, in a widely covered media stunt, ate fried chicken during a hearing of the House Judiciary Committee to mock Barr for being "chicken" by refusing to appear before the committee.
After bumbling and fumbling under intense questioning from Democratic senators on Wednesday, Barr skipped the Thursday House hearing, where he was set to be challenged on his lies in service of Trump and his actions in mischaracterizing the content of the Mueller report.
“Chicken Barr should have shown up today and answered questions,” the congressman later said, holding a ceramic chicken for extra emphasis.
This angered Diamond and Silk, two black women in Fox’s employ whom the network has often used as cover for its own systemic racism.
Diamond and Silk (whose real names are Lynette Hardaway and Rochelle Richardson, respectively) are hosts on Fox’s Fox Nation platform. They complained about Cohen on "Fox & Friends," Trump’s favorite television show.
“Well you know, he’s racially insensitive,” Diamond said. “Can you imagine if that was a Republican doing that to a Democrat? Just think about that for a moment.”
“Yeah,” added Silk, in typical monosyllabic fashion.
It's an odd point to try to make, since fried chicken is not inherently racist. If a white Republican member of Congress trolled a white Democratic attorney general with fried chicken for not showing up for testimony, it still wouldn’t be racist. That's because there are no harmful racial stereotypes about white people eating fried chicken, which isn't the case for black Americans.
Cohen wasn't saying or implying anything about race. He was simply calling Barr a chicken, or a coward, by not testifying before the Democratic-controlled House Judiciary Committee. That’s why he not only ate chicken, but also used a ceramic chicken as a prop.
Cohen specifically accused Barr of being "afraid" of answering questions from real attorneys for 30 minutes, which was a condition for the hearing set by House Judiciary Chair Jerry Nadler (D-CA). Barr refused to testify because of that condition — even though bringing in outside counsel to ask questions is a procedure that Senate Republicans used recently during Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court confirmation hearings. And that attorney was questioning Christine Blasey-Ford, a sexual assault survivor who, unlike Barr, is not the attorney general of the United States.
If Diamond and Silk were truly interested in rooting out racial insensitivity (which they aren't), they could start with their employer.
Fox News is racist. It airs a constant stream of racism into millions of American homes. Fox hosts like Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham push nonstop racist tropes and ideas nearly every night on their programs.
The network as a whole has pushed racism for nearly every day of its 23 years on air. Even its decision to hire and promote Diamond and Silk smacks of racism, because they portray a dumbed-down version of African-American life that does not reflect reality. But it pleases many of Fox’s racist viewers.
It is also no coincidence that Trump has embraced them, inviting them to his rallies and to the White House. Trump is a racist, and he uses people like Diamond and Silk to give himself cover against accurate charges of racism.
Rep. Cohen didn’t do anything wrong, and Fox and Diamond and Silk should know that. But they also know that on Trump’s favorite show, their role is to promote nonsense ideas that validate his absurd, racist worldview.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.