“The America we know and love doesn’t exist anymore,” Fox News host Laura Ingraham said last night (Aug. 8) in a segment directed at Democratic congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
“Massive demographic changes have been foisted upon the American people. And they’re changes that none of us ever voted for and most of us don’t like,” she said, adding that she was referring to both “illegal and legal immigration.”
(Ocasio-Cortez, who upset incumbent Joseph Crowley in a primary and is the favorite to replace him in his New York City district, was born in the US, as were her parents. Ingraham was responding to Ocasio-Cortez’s recent comments that the upper middle class in America is disappearing.)
Ingraham’s divisive and racist words could incite more hatred towards immigrants in the US, particularly those from Central America and Mexico who are falsely singled out by conservative pundits as fueling crime and stealing jobs.
What appears to be lost on Ingraham is how hurtful her words could be in her own home. Ingraham’s daughter, a young teenager, is an immigrant. She adopted the girl from Guatemala in 2008, when she was a 3-year-old orphan, and described her action at the time as the “best thing I’ve ever done.” She was even learning Spanish, she said then.
“I see purpose in the eyes of a beautiful three-year-old little girl whom I spent years attempting to adopt,” she said in a speech that year. “Last month, I was blessed to fly to Guatemala to finally pick her up and bring her home.”
(Ingraham also adopted two sons from Russia, a nationality that has not been singled out by the Trump administration or right-wing pundits for the same hatred).
Ingraham spent years “perfecting the public performance of conservative firebrand,” the Washington Post wrote last year, and her latest tirade is part of a conservative talking-head tradition of saying incendiary things to stir up controversy and get ratings. Some like, Infowars’ Alex Jones—who is being sued by parents of children killed in the Sandy Hook massacre—claims that the things he says on-air are just part of a character he’s playing.
What kind of character is Laura Ingraham playing now?