FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TWO Condemns Protests in Front of Tucker Carlson’s Home and Calls for an End to this Invasive and Dangerous Tactic
Home Protests Are Designed to Intimidate, Squelch Free Speech, and Could Invite Violence
WASHINGTON – Truth Wins Out is an unapologetic progressive organization. However, today we condemn the tactic of protesting outside peoples’ homes, after demonstrators descended on the house of conservative FOX commentator Tucker Carlson, leading him to call the police. The protesters reportedly shouted, “Tucker Carlson, we will fight! We know where you sleep at night!” Truth Wins Out Executive Director, Wayne Besen, today released the following statement rejecting such tactics:
“Truth Wins Out fervently disagrees with virtually every word that has ever come out of Tucker Carlson’s mouth. We find his show odious and his views reprehensible. Nonetheless, I want to unequivocally be on record as opposing protests in front of people’s homes, including those whose views we find repugnant.
Left, Right, and in-between should agree that home protests go too far and should be off limits. Such protests are invasive, squelch free speech, are designed to harass and intimidate, and potentially could incite violence, sending the wrong message to unstable people who are inclined to do physical harm. Given the loose gun laws in this country, we have had 307 mass shootings in the United States this year, it is easy to see how encouraging home protests is nothing short of playing with fire.
We are entering a politically precarious time where tempers will flare, nerves will fray, and Americans will have significant disagreements. Thus, we must demonstrate leadership and personal responsibility, while drawing lines of decency and civility. It is incumbent to follow the Golden Rule: Don’t protest outside someone’s residence, unless you want them demonstrating outside of your home.
At Truth Wins Out, we have stood with CNN’s Jim Acosta and we’re disgusted with the President’s ugly attacks on the media. But, Tucker Carlson is also a member of the media and his views, no matter how noxious, also deserve protection. Protesters coming to his residence have the goal of using fear to curtail his views, thus it is an attack on the First Amendment.
Truth Wins Out has organized many protests over the years, indeed, I was outside the White House last night exercising my First Amendment rights against President Trump’s illegal appointment of Matthew Whitaker as Acting Attorney General. However, there is a right and wrong way to protest: If you want to express your views, protest outside a person’s workplace or at an event where he or she is speaking. Home protests need to stop.
Of course, there are rare exceptions, such as a person running a death camp or putting a condom over the home of Jesse Helms as a publicity stunt, due to the life and death nature of his attack on people living with AIDS. But, such expressions of dissent should remain the rare exception, not the rule.
In this fraught political atmosphere, running high with emotion, let’s all take pause and consider the implications and ramifications of home protest and consider employing other tactics that don’t increase the likelihood of people being targeted for violence based upon their views.”
Founded in 2006, Truth Wins Out is a nonprofit think tank and advocacy organization that fights against right wing extremism and anti-LGBT prejudice and discrimination.