What Tomi Lahren Just Doesn’t Get

OK, I might not be the most qualified person to write an article about Tomi Lahren. In the grand scheme of things, Tomi and I have very little in common; she’s a 23-year-old radical conservative talk show host who believes in “white domination” and I am, last time I checked, none of those things. There are definitely people who are a billion times better at calling her out on her BS than I will ever be, and plenty of people already have. They’ve called her racist, oblivious, ignorant, and misogynistic, but there are also thousands who come to her rescue as someone who speaks her mind and is just saying the things that no one else has the courage to say. There’s actually a reason why people don’t say racist and hateful things in public, you know.

I would say Tomi Lahren is basically the female Donald Trump, but that would actually be giving her way too much credit. She’s basically what happens if that spoiled 16-year-old girl who shares Fox News videos on Facebook got her own TV show. She made a name for herself on the One America “news” network (and yes, those quote marks are 100 percent sarcastic) when she said “radical Islam is now the rule, not the exception; yesterday’s moderate is becoming today’s terrorist.” She told Obama to “put the fear of God in the desert” even though he’s bombing so many countries the U.S. military is literally running out of bombs and, if as many Muslims were terrorists as she says there are, we’d certainly all be dead by now. She also said that Beyoncé’s Super Bowl Halftime Show was an attempt to “overthrow white domination.” Seriously, you can practically see a swastika tramp stamp showing up on her lower back and a “Make America Great Again” hat on her head.

The problem is when Lahren brought up the issue of race following Grey’s Anatomy actor Jesse Williams’ BET Humanitarian Award and the assassination of Alton Sterling that really got me angry. She complained that he brought up the assassination of Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old boy who was shot by a white cop for playing with a toy gun in an open carry state. In a comment that takes the cake for being the most ironic moment in TV history, she responded to Williams’ statement that “if you do not have interest in equal rights for black people, then do not make suggestions to those who do” with a rambling argument that black people have enough rights as it is and that he should “sit down.” “Please tell me, Mr. Williams, what rights black people don’t have,” she said.

Well, I may not be black, but I can answer that for our confused little white supremacist. Institutionalized racism and white privilege are unfortunate realities in 21st century America and, if you’re white, you have probably benefitted from a system that demeans and puts down anyone who doesn’t have your skin color. Tomi Lahren never had to worry that, when she goes out at night in a hoodie, she might not come back home because she was shot in the chest six times for selling CDs, or choked to death for selling loose cigarettes. She never had to worry about being denied a job because her name sounds “too black,” or that she would need to take up a second or third job because institutionalized racism doesn’t pay her enough. She will never face the reality that, in America, a white person with a gun is a patriot while a black person with a gun is a criminal. She doesn’t realize that unarmed black teens are shot and killed five times more often than white teens, or that black kids are 18 times more likely to be tried as adults than white kids for committing the exact same crime. She never had to worry about being called the n-word or being discriminated against for the color of her skin. Oh, and she’ll never have to deal with the fact that she was given clear and significant societal advantages just for being born white.

That’s what Tomi Lahren doesn’t get about racism. In her own little privileged bubble, white people are the victims of discrimination, a black conspiracy brought about by Jesse Williams, Jada Pickett-Smith, and Beyoncé to start worldwide anarchy. She’s totally oblivious of the struggles of the unarmed black teen in Ferguson, Chicago, or Detroit because, to be fair, she can’t see it through the window of her air-conditioned apartment in Manhattan or Los Angeles. At the end of the day, she is nothing more than a symptom of the ugly system we have in place that dismisses the plight for equality between races, finding it more important to stand up for the aggressors or saying that “all lives matter.” Well, the problem with that, Tomi, is that black lives haven’t mattered for centuries, so all lives won’t matter until black lives do. It’s that simple.

This story was originally posted here on July 11, 2016