Fox News personality Tucker Carlson sparked considerable controversy after he referred to the city of Baltimore, Maryland as "a little bit of Haiti in the Mid-Atlantic," his rant was accompanied by a chyron that denigrated the city as a "hellscape" a stone's throw from Washington, D.C.
While Carlson's critics have acknowledged issues within Baltimore–including a high crime rate that has often served as political fodder on conservative media networks–they have widely condemned his remarks, about a city with a majority Black population, as evidence of racial animus.
You can hear what Carlson said in the video below.
“Whatever you do, don’t go to Baltimore. Baltimore is a major American city. It’s only about 40 miles from where [White House Press Secretary) Jen Psaki lives."
“It’s one of the worst places in the Western Hemisphere, it’s a little bit of Haiti in the mid-Atlantic. Baltimore is exactly what happens when you apply Jen Psaki’s ideas to governing.”
Carlson's remarks bear similarities to comments made by former President Donald Trump, who in 2019 declared that Baltimore was a “rodent infested mess” where “no human being would want to live," decrying it as “worse than Honduras."
The former President also courted controversy when referred to Baltimore as the "worst" city in the United States, a designation he has typically reserved for other populated centers like New York, Portland, and Seattle. His comments were harshly rebuked by Baltimore residents, in particular then-Mayor Bernard C. "Jack" Young, who called them "completely unacceptable."
That anger was out in full force again as social media users came together to denounce Carlson's inflammatory coverage.
Carlson's comments also bring to mind a controversy that erupted when former President Trump was accused of making disparagingly racist remarks when he referred to Haiti as one of a number of "s**thole countries."
According to lawmakers who were present at a meeting with Trump at the White House, Trump asked why the United States is "having all these people from s**thole countries come here" before suggesting that the United States should instead bring more people from countries such as Norway before singling out Haiti.
“Why do we need more Haitians?” he asked at the time, adding that authorities should "Take them out."
Trump's comments alienated and infuriated Africans abroad. South Africa and Nigeria joined a chorus of nations–a list that included Botswana, Ghana, Haiti, Namibia, Senegal, and members of the African Union–in protesting his remarks.