Normally on The Daily Show, Trevor Noah takes down hypocrisy and conservatives' misguided views from afar, but Wednesday night he had the opportunity to do so in person. That's because the "least woke, most awake person" in the country was finally a guest on Noah's show after the two traded video invites back and forth. She's Tomi Lahren, the anti-label millennial, conservative host of a show on The Blaze and viral Facebook videos that take on issues like Colin Kaepernick's protests and more. Don't miss Noah school Lahren on why her anti-Black Lives Matter rhetoric is plain wrong. But unfortunately, it doesn't seem to have sunk in with her.
If you've never heard of Lahren either, you probably should get familiar. Her inflammatory and sometimes racist rants against all things liberal, inclusive, or supportive of social justice have made her extremely popular with a certain segment of the population. That Kaepernick video in which she criticizes him for criticizing the country that protects his right to criticize went seriously viral — we're talking 66.6 million views. That kind of audience is scary when you consider her statements like "Black Lives Matters is the new KKK" and see her boiling anger over any social critique delivered by a minority (anger to her show is dancing to Ellen DeGeneres', according to Noah).
Lahren wouldn't say she's angry but rather "calling people on their sh*t," to paraphrase her view of the job. Thus it was lovely to see Noah do just that — especially around the Black Lives Matter movement that Lahren has been demonizing. "For somebody who is not racist, you have to spend a lot of time saying, ‘I’m not racist,'" Noah pointed out, and then he jumped right into the debate.
"What is so bad about Black Lives Matter?" Noah asked. Lahren said that it may have started with good intentions but now it has turned into rioting, looting, burning, and "militant actions." She's also not a fan of the "hands up, don't shoot" slogan which she called a "false narrative." Noah pointed out that "Black Lives Matter has never said go out and shoot people." And that one person's actions doesn't represent the whole movement, just as some KKK members support Trump doesn't mean that the Trump is in the KKK, Noah argued, repeating something Lahren has said herself.
On The Daily Show, Lahren wasn't connecting the dots. She continued to argue with him on this, broadly painting the whole movement as bad due to a few people's actions by saying, "These are more than just a few people." That was pretty much her whole argument, and she failed to accept Noah's logical conclusion then — using Lahren's warped logic — that because a few police are racist, it must mean that all officers are. The difference to her was a one-line answer about "the media emboldening."
Since that wasn't going anywhere, Noah asked Lahren what she wanted the world to know about her. Basically she would really like everyone to stop considering her racist, despite the racist things she says and arguments he makes. As she told Noah:
I wish that we could disagree with each other without thinking that we are bad people or ill-intentioned folks. So because I criticize a black person or I criticize the Black Lives Matter movement, that doesn’t mean I’m anti-black. It does not mean that I don’t like black people or that I am a racist, it means I’m criticizing a movement. I criticized Colin Kaepernick. That doesn't mean I don't believe in his First Amendment rights. It means that I believe in my First Amendment rights to criticize him.
She went on to argue that she's not racist because she's "never used racial slurs to address people," nor has she "looked down on" people of color. In fact, she said, "I don't see color," to which Noah had the best answer of the interview (immediately after the studio audience lost it in a mix of groans, laughs and boos directed at Lahren):
So what do you do at a traffic light? I don't believe in that at all when people say that. There is nothing wrong with seeing color. It is how you treat color that is more important.
Then he went on to criticize her more inflammatory talk — such as "Black Lives Matters is the new KKK." He argued that is wrong because one, the KKK still exists, and two, it minimizes what the KKK stood for and what the KKK did — "That is not the same," Noah added. "Surely you understand the incendiary feeling of your comments."
But her response showed that there was not going to be much headway, at least not today "What did the KKK do?" she asked, implying it was essentially the same as some looting and rioting. Again the audience lost it. So while Noah schooled her, she might not have passed the lesson.
Lahren has already responded to the interview and has claimed that she was edited unfairly. You can see the whole 26-minute interview here. She's probably not going to win you over, but it's worth hearing her out.
Images: Comedy Central (1)