Fox News personality Tucker Carlson angered many viewers after he suggested policymakers should simply banish unhoused people from society, claiming social services encourage homelessness and threaten the American nuclear family.
Carlson suggested all unhoused people are drug addicts and accused them of undermining living standards for everyone else. He also criticized states like New York which recently opened the nation's first overdose prevention center, a move that's been highly lauded by harm-reduction advocates.
You can hear what Carlson said in the video below.
Carlson, addressing the unhoused population, said:
"You are a drug addict. Get a job or leave. Pull up your pants and get the hell out of here. Go somewhere with lower standards."
“Head for a place where politicians don’t care about their people, because we do care and that’s why we’re hauling your tent to a landfill and cutting off your checks today.”
Carlson, remarking on overdose prevention centers in New York, denigrated them as simply places "helping the homeless get high."
However, his claims could not be further from the truth.
In fact, cities and states have pushed to open similar centers in an effort to reduce opioid deaths, destigmatize drug misuse, and connect people with substance abuse disorders with addiction and counseling services.
Overdose prevention sites offer supervised settings for people to use drugs in the presence of counselors and other medical professionals to protect them from overdosing. Ultimately, these centers aim to help people with substance abuse disorders wean themselves off substances and connect them with medical treatment and support systems.
For many, conservative stances on the unhoused are another example of hypocrisy.
Republicans campaign on a platform of abstinence only sexual education, limited access to birth control and outlawing abortion—all things which increase teen and unwanted pregnancies. The children resulting from the Republican forced pregnancy ideal are at greater risk of ending up homeless either through parental poverty or aging out of the foster care system.
Republicans also purport to support veterans, yet veterans make up a considerable number of the unhoused. The Republican platform also seeks to remove equality efforts protecting LGBTQ+ people who are also vulnerable to homelessness due to discrimination in hiring and housing and unaccepting conservative families.
Many have criticized Carlson for his remarks, calling them judgmental and dangerous.
Carlson has previously made headlines for similar remarks about the homeless population.
In 2019, he drew significant criticism for claiming that "progressive" policies are responsible for an uptick in the population of homeless people nationwide, and suggesting that cities like Portland, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. are "covered with tents and filth now."
Carlson went on to say that "leftist" cities actually prefer these conditions, because they "regard[s] law and order as the hateful relic of a less progressive age."