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"Breaking news," the subject line of the email screamed, "the Carlson text that alarmed Fox leaders."

I dropped what I was doing to click on the link and read the article. Instinctively, I knew it would confirm everything I already despised about former Fox News host Tucker Carlson.

As I read the part of his text that stated, "It's not how white men fight," my blood began to boil and the schadenfreude I had first enjoyed when I learned he had been fired by Fox a few weeks ago was rekindled.

I thought to myself, "I hope this buries the S.O.B. forever — the guy epitomizes everything that is wrong with today's media!" I was convinced my already low opinion of the conspiratorial, right-wing talk show host was about to sink even beneath what I could have imagined.

Pressing on with the article, I expected to read even more outrageously inflammatory racist, misogynistic and xenophobic statements. I was even hoping for such provocations because they would not only further justify the utter contempt I held for the man, but might also provide me additional ammunition with which I could lambaste my Fox-watching friends and colleagues.

Alas, that is not what happened. I read Carlson's complete text and, while his racist comments are vile and go against everything I know in my heart to be right, true and just, I also saw in his text a man struggling with his conscience.

In regard to the three "Trump guys" beating up an anti-right wing Antifa supporter, Carlson wrote this about his own thirst for the violence: "... this is not good for me. I'm becoming something I don't want to be." Later in the text he added, "I should be bothered by [this gloating]" and "I should remember that somewhere someone probably loves this kid [the Antifa victim]."

Carlson then ended the text by saying, "if I reduce people to their politics, how am I better than he is?"

My initial reaction was to question his sincerity. I was in no mood to offer Tucker Carlson any understanding, primarily because I have not known Carlson himself to grant a similar understanding to those with whom he disagrees. And yet, Carlson's final question touched something in my heart:

If I reduce people to their politics, how am I better than he is?

The truth is that I am not — and never was — better than Carlson, and his question forced me to look within myself. When I did I found something I was not expecting — grace. It is not easy for me to say, but I now sincerely hope Carlson and his supporters will use this experience to open their hearts and continue more deeply to explore their consciences. I say this because I believe they are capable of changing.

The reality is this, however: I can't change Tucker Carlson or his supporters. I can only change myself. I honestly don't know if extending grace to Carlson will help him become a better person, but I do know this: Extending grace to others — especially those with whom I disagree, those I dislike or find difficult to love — can change me.

And, if we change ourselves, we will begin to change our politics. A little grace can go a long way.

Jack Uldrich is a writer and lives in Minneapolis.