On Tomi Lahren, Trevor Noah, Charlamagne and Black men
In case you missed it, Tomi Lahren, a conservative political pundit (if we can even call her that) went on The Daily Show, hosted by Trevor Noah and spoke about why she has issues with Black Lives Matter and Colin Kaepernick's protest. Soon after, Trevor Noah and Tomi were seen out having dinner. The next day Tomi was meeting with Charlamagne, host of popular radio show The Breakfast Club, because she "hangs out with Black people and has black friends."
I honestly was very tempted to not even write this post, but like Tomi says, somethings just have to be said and some people need to be called out on their shit. Trevor Noah, Charlamagne, and every black man who agreed with, caped for, or stood by Charlamagne and Trevor, I am looking at you.
While I do agree that discourse and discussion are important, there is a difference between productive discourse and discussion and supporting foolery. Trevor and Charlamagne both seem to feel that engaging with Tomi isn't giving credence and support to her ideas and maybe initially having her on The Daily Show wasn't, but everything that has happened since is.
Tomi Lahren is your typical, disillusioned, white woman who often votes and believes things that go against her best interest. Her show and frankly public persona is incendiary and created for shock value. And the notion that she, as a white woman, with all of the privileges that entails is doing more to spread ideas, no matter how controversial they might be, is problematic. Problematic because Tomi was given her platform by Glenn Bleck. Problematic because to ignore the privileges her whiteness and womanhood grant her is to act in manners that are ahistorical and simply inaccurate. Problematic because white women have always been the most protected and cherished sect of the female species, even when they were disenfranchised or denied other basic rights. Problematic because white women, have always had the option of ladyhood available to them - meaning they were and will always be protected.
Now, you would think that this protection would come solely from white men, but of course that's not the case. Since the dawn of time, some black men, like Charlamagne and Trevor Noah have existed to amplify and glorify the work of mediocre white women - Tomi Lahren included. This to me screams that these individuals have problems with internalized racism and misogynior, but you could never tell them that. For Charlamagne to get on Twitter and tweet: "Would be dope if a young black or Hispanic "WOKE" woman used social media to create a Platform to be a voice like Tomi Lahren did" is PROBLEMATIC.
Because, here's the thing, Black women have been doing the work of creating platforms for ourselves and Black people in general since we were brought to this country 400 years ago. We've been using social media to create platforms and voices for ourselves. The difference being that we often are not HANDED platforms with millions of followers, have very different financial situations, and simply are not listened to - especially when we want to bring gender or intersectionalities into the conversation. For a lot of Black women, creating a platform for ourselves looks like shooting videos in our basement, teaching ourselves how to code so we can build a bomb website, and figuring out the whole entrepreneurship thing on our own. To ignore this, to erase our work, is again ahistoric, inaccurate, and hurtful. To tell Black women, to be more like a white woman, a white woman who doesn't care about us, who knows nothing about the ways being both Black and woman make our lives harder, and who will never give up her privileges because it would mean truly evening the playing field is wrong and something that we should not have to deal with from a Black man.
And to make matters worse, instead of simply doing the work of amplifying Black and Brown women who are engaging with topics of importance all over the place, Charlamagne and other Black men jumped to talk to each other about what they can do for Black women. How does that even make sense?
It can be so exhausting to be a Black woman, that loves, cherishes, and uplifts Black men, because we often do not get that love, support, and uplift back. Instead, some of y'all would rather cape for a white woman who at the end of the day, will often put herself - her whiteness first. And while Black women have known for a while that Charlamagne was cancelled, it's honestly not even him that I'm worried about. I'm worried about the Black men I know who won't understand this article, who will disagree with me, who will argue with me about this until they're blue in the face. I worry about Black men who cannot or refuse to see the ways patriarchy and misogyny benefit them. I worry about Black men who are more interested in doing for Black women than doing with us or hell, letting us do our OWN thing. I worry for all the mini-Charlamagne's hiding behind "wokeness" because it's on trend right now. And mostly, I worry for my sisters, because we often deal with y'all and don't even know it.
You're cancelled. You're problematic. And don't come running to us, to Black women, when girls like Tomi, leave you out in the cold.
Image: The Source