The number of people on the “lost their damn mind” list continues to tally up this 2016. Tuesday night, Charlamagne’s grossly absurd tweet confirmed his addition to the list. First, let’s rewind to last week when The Daily Show Host Trevor Noah brought Tomi Lahren on for an interview. Don’t know Lahren? Well, she hosts an obnoxiously loud hate-filled show that has gained tremendous popularity amongst Conservatives and the Alt-Right (White supremacist groups).
Since the interview’s airing, there has been much conversation about why Noah would do such a thing. Why would he give a woman who spews pure hate and spreads lies, such a mainstream platform? Some people thought it was a brilliant tactic that highlighted her obvious racism and ignorant statements. Others applauded the fact that two people, who stand on opposite ends, were able to come together and have a discussion.
Now ask me what I thought. Or don’t because I’m going to tell you anyway.
I thought it was a classic example of the Liberal tendency to play nice with people who would not hesitate to crush you. Once again, viewers were subjected to the “Let’s Get Together” mentality that many progressives have been jamming in our ear since the day after the election of Trump, saying we all need to stand together and move forward. Stand together? Move forward? The only people I will be standing next to are those who are most affected, most in danger by this election. I will not take some imaginary moral high ground just to keep a good image. We cannot afford to forgive and forget.
That being said, I didn’t appreciate Noah’s interview with Lahren. To me, it was disingenuine. He never really challenged or pressed her thoughts except to slip in some sly remarks and quick jokes. Then at the end, he gives a shout out *a shout out* to her racist show and where to watch it. How? Where? Who? Why? Why was she on the show? For ratings. For money. There was no genuine interest to change her views, there wasn’t even a plain and clear statement about her overtly racist views. I call that problematic.
So, how does Charlamagne Tha God connect to this? Well, he thought it best to 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.” Of course, my first reaction to this was to be angry and clearly, from the tone of this piece, I do sound angry. That’s something I won’t apologize for or tone down because this tweet is worth speaking up about. It angers me because here at The Talking Flower we are trying to create a platform for women to be heard. I, specifically, have been trying to get my voice out there as a Latina so the struggles that my community faces can be better discussed. But I don’t have the major financial backers like Tomi has, and I won’t get any so long as there are men like Charlamagne who refuse to see the work I am putting in. It further angered me because I thought of all the amazing women who DO have dope and wildly insightful messages they are getting out on their social media platforms. There’s Kat Lazo, Dior Vargas, Kat Blaque, Brittany Packnett, Franchesca Ramsey, Feminista Jones, April Reign, and many more WOC who are out there putting in tons of work to ensure that our entire nation keeps moving forward. For Charlamagne to side-step and ignore all of their work and pretend like they don’t even exist just proves how out of touch he is with the current movements happening in the United States. So I was angry for these women, who I genuinely admire and respect, that a man can just come in and suggest that all of their work isn’t as good as a racist white woman’s.
Then again, I really should not be shocked. This is nothing new. Charlamagne is one out of the many, many men who refuse to acknowledge the work women, especially women of color, do in this world. Everything from house work to movement-building, it’s all ignored or labeled as trivial and not as important as it would be if a man were doing it. So, what did I learn from Charlamagne? Nothing that I already knew. Nothing that many women haven’t experienced before. All we can do is speak out and shut them down when they say absurd things like that and just keep grinding. One other thing, make sure you reach out to the women in your life and let them know that you see them, you appreciate them, and to keep doing what they’re doing.