John Oliver slams 'racial panic goblins' Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham for Afghan refugee stance

·3 min read

On Last Week Tonight With John Oliver Sunday, Oliver joined the growing chorus of voices condemning some in right-wing media for discouraging the acceptance of Afghan refugees in the U.S. Oliver specifically called out Fox News hosts Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham, both of whom spent last week disparaging the very notion.

“We’re in the midst of a massive humanitarian crisis,” Oliver said, “and we have a clear obligation to take in Afghans who are now vulnerable, and not just those that worked with U.S. troops, but those, like Fatima and her children, whose lives are now at grave risk. Although, some conservative commentators are already trying to get way out ahead of that.”

While Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), who came to the U.S as a Somali refugee when she was a child, responded last week by saying she was not surprised by the anti-refugee sentiment among some conservatives, Oliver had a much more colorful response.

Oliver played a clip of Carlson comparing Afghan refugees coming to the U.S. to an invasion, and a clip of Ingraham saying, “The lesson of this 20-year war cannot be that every time we turn a country upside down or make huge mistakes, our immigration laws, our refugee laws no longer apply.”

Straight out of the clips, Oliver said, “OK, first, f**k off, you tag-team racial panic goblins. Second, the notion of ‘every time we turn a country upside down’ is an incredible thing to just blow past. Maybe that's the lesson here, Laura. Maybe don't keep turning countries upside down in the first place.”

As the U.S. struggles to remove every Afghan attempting to flee the Taliban, Oliver believes it’s our obligation to help people in a bad situation that we had a big part in creating, despite what immigration and refugee laws say.

“As for ‘our refugee laws no longer apply,’ we are a big part of why those people are refugees,” Oliver said. “Helping them now isn't charity, it's doing the bare minimum. Refusing to help a neighbor whose home just burned down is sh***y. Doing it when you helped start the fire is f**king monstrous.”

Afghan refugees have begun arriving in the U.S., and Oliver gave a call to action to ensure it continues and government leaders don’t start pushing back due to pressure from people like Carlson and Ingraham.

“To the extent that any hesitation about doing this is due to fear of political blowback thanks to idiots like these,” Oliver said, gesturing to images of Carlson and Ingraham, “call your representatives and tell them that you care about this. Because if they think that you don't, it is not going to happen.”

Last Week Tonight With John Oliver airs Sundays at 11 p.m. on HBO.

Watch Ilhan Omar respond to 'hateful rhetoric' by Fox News hosts about refugees: 'Not surprising':

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