Trevor Noah Faces Tomi Lahren’s Ignorance on Black Lives Matter With as Much Politeness as Can Be Expected From a Mere Mortal

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November 30th of every year should heretofore be known as Saint Trevor Noah’s Day, if only because he managed to keep it together while interviewing Tomi Lahren on The Daily Show last night.

On last night’s The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, Noah had on as a guest conservative commentator, Tomi Lahren, whom I’d never heard of until today, but apparently has a channel on The Blaze TV, a digital streaming subscription service that caters to a right-wing audience. When I saw that this person was to be interviewed on The Daily Show, I thought Hmm. This should be interesting. I’d be curious to see what this young, female, conservative political commentator has to say about all this Trump business. Because even knowing that we’d disagree, I still get excited when I see women, particularly young women who bring with them new energy, vitality, and hopefully ideas, on either side of the aisle making their voices heard.

I just wish that Tomi Lahren were someone I could respect.

Watch the video above, and you’ll see the myriad moments in which she’ll say something, only to contradict herself moments later. The way she’ll deflect a question by refusing to get off one point. The way she says “I don’t like labels,” followed almost immediately by, “I’m a Millennial, Trevor.” (Even Noah has a hard time not LOL-ing directly into her face on that one.)

There are so many ways in which this woman’s ignorance slip is showing, but I’m thankful that I don’t have to write about most them here, because Noah does such an amazing job holding her accountable for the things she says. As Pajiba noted, “He’s not as good as Jon Stewart was at the daily rundown, and he may never be, but he’s a better interviewer (Jon Stewart, God bless, pulled punches, and even when he was going after someone, often turned it into a joke. He was rarely very hard on an interviewee).”

trevor-noah

Meanwhile, Noah went after her without deteriorating into a hateful horror show, which takes huge amounts of patience. So thank you, Trevor Noah, for that.

The one point I did want to comment on is the point in the interview around 21:15, where she tries to relate other protesters to herself “as a woman.” With regard to football player Colin Kirkpatrick and his taking a knee during the national anthem in protest of how black people are treated in the United States, the conversation between Lahren and Noah goes like this:

Lahren: “For me, I think there are a lot of folks in this country — I, being a woman, um, I didn’t have rights [until] after black people, until women got the right to vote. But because I feel like I’m a woman and I’m marginalized in some way, I don’t protest my country. I don’t see what he’s protesting. I would like to know exactly what he is protesting.

Noah: “So, how do you protest…?”

Lahren: “I don’t protest. Because I’m not a victim. I choose not to victimize myself. I choose not to make myself a victim. That’s the difference.”

So, what she’s saying is, she believes that women are indeed marginalized “in some way” in this country (and I’d love to have a conversation with her about exactly what those ways are, because I’m sure they’d be quite different from my list), but that she doesn’t protest how women are treated, because she chooses not to make herself a victim.

  1. Protesting isn’t just about you and your preferences, it’s about what you want for the group. This seems to be the difference between the way conservatives speak, and the way liberals speak. Liberals use “we” a lot. Conservatives use “I.”
  2. Protesters are standing up for what they believe in. You can disagree with individual methods, but the one thing you can’t call them is “victims,” or her other favorite word, “crybabies.” Crybabies do nothing. Protesters speak out and take action. To me, her desire not to speak up about things she knows are wrong out of concern about looking like a “victim” speaks more to victimhood than any protesters actions ever could. What is she afraid of? In whose eyes is she afraid of looking weak?
  3. It is a sad day when people are more concerned for disrespect against symbols (the flag) and ideas (this country) than they are about disrespect against actual, living, breathing human beings.

Meanwhile, I want whatever pill, tonic, or elixir that Noah took to remain calm throughout this entire interview.

(featured image via screencap)

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Author
Teresa Jusino
Teresa Jusino (she/her) is a native New Yorker and a proud Puerto Rican, Jewish, bisexual woman with ADHD. She's been writing professionally since 2010 and was a former TMS assistant editor from 2015-18. Now, she's back as a contributing writer. When not writing about pop culture, she's writing screenplays and is the creator of your future favorite genre show. Teresa lives in L.A. with her brilliant wife. Her other great loves include: Star Trek, The Last of Us, anything by Brian K. Vaughan, and her Level 5 android Paladin named Lal.