I AM FEELING SICK. Keep that in mind while reading tonight’s blog. My brain is processing things a little slower, and my societal behavior monitor is slightly weakened.
I was watching the Daily Show with Trevor Noah tonight. I don’t always get a chance to watch it, so I started recording it. He’s my favorite kind of human -- intelligently funny. I always enjoy hearing his perspective because he is thoughtful and serious, but can still make me laugh. If you’ve never seen the show. You should watch it at least once.
I was lying in bed watching tv because I felt sort of horrible and decided to get caught up on The Daily Show. I turned on the dvr and saw that tonight’s episode was on right then, so I watched it live. I did not recognize the name of tonight's guest. That isn't unusual. I don’t often know the people being interviewed just because of my lack of time. I don’t watch a lot of tv - between work, offspring, and life. We watch tv after the kids go to bed, and by the time they are in bed, I pretty much read and fall asleep. (Try to maintain your jealousy over my amazing life). So, we aren't really up on the whole cool and popular scene.
Tonight’s interview was with someone I had never heard of before. Her name was Tomi Lahren. Trevor Noah played a clip from her show so that people who didn’t know anything about her could see who she was. If you had walked into my room at the exact moment - you would’ve seen me with my mouth hanging open. As soon, as the clip ended the following exchange took place:
Noah: You are a conservative, right?
Lahren: Yes, well, I’m a millennial, so I don’t like labels but I have conservative thinking, yes.
Noah: Wait. You just used a label to explain that you don’t like labels.
Lahren: I’m a millennial. We are unpredictable.
It was at this point I hit pause and yelled to the Husband, “Get in here! You HAVE to see this!!!”
Seriously, humans, google this interview. There are so many things that I loved about it.
- Trevor Noah was decidedly calm, even and logical. He didn’t blow up. He didn’t raise his voice. He didn’t use a disrespectful or mocking tone. His restraint was unbelievable.
- Trevor Noah asked direct questions that were not answered. Lahren has been critical of Colin Kappernick’s protests, but has said repeatedly that she believes he has the right to protest, just not the way that he has been protesting. Yet, when asked repeatedly, “How should protest be registered?” she had no response.
- Watching a 24 year old say things like, “perceived discrimination” or “I don’t see color” to a man who grew up in a country where his parents had to hide his existence nearly made my heart explode. Meanwhile, Noah, remained calm.
- This exhange:
- Lahren: I don’t see color
- Noah: What do you do at traffic lights?
Listen, you KNOW that I’ve got strong opinions on these issues. I have already written about the need for our Nation to find a way to hear all the voices of its citizens. I’ve also shared with you my thoughts on the Presidential election. None of this is new, but I want to clarify, her thoughts and statements represent precisely the reason that I am mistrustful of the new administration. An attitude that all those who disagree with your ideals are sore losers and spoiled babies - disrespects ALL with concerns and prevents effective dialog. It keeps us from actually solving any problems that we face as a Nation.
One of the most appalling things I heard tonight was this:
Noah: How would you protest?
Lahren: I wouldn’t protest. I’m not a victim.
This was a rapid exchange, and easily missed. It reveals an attitude toward outside views that is frightening. If you express concerns or divergent thought, it isn’t because you have a different opinion - it is because you are a victim, who can’t manage the situation. It is victim blaming on a National scale.
We’ve got some issues people - on a National level. When people dismiss legitimate problems in America as unimportant, or only “perceived” they aren’t just dismissing humans - they are dismissing history. Oppression, and racial injustice aren’t a small part of American history -- they are fundamental components present at its origins. Like it or not, we were founded through injustice from day one. We’ve spent decades trying to shove this fact into the background, and never fully eradicating it from our internal systems - and if 2016 has taught us nothing else -- it has taught us this: It is time to find a way to make these United States a United Nation who values all of its citizens equally. It is time to really listen to one another, and not dismiss oposing views through pointless name-calling, but consider carefully what we intend to be.