Debate The Facts, Not Tomi Lahren

Debate The Facts, Not Tomi Lahren

Arguing with people who consistently dodge the truth will not end well.
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Here’s something that might seem impossible post-2016 election -- last week, a liberal and conservative spoke at length about their differing political views without the conversation descending into screamed insults. Unfortunately, what could have been a productive conversation turned out to spark more disappointment than enlightenment.

A little background for those of you who attempt to ignore drama, as I should and don’t: Trevor Noah is a comedian and the current host of “The Daily Show,” attempting to fill the gaping hole that Jon Stewart left behind. Tomi Lahren is the host of “Tomi” on The Blaze, where she is known for her viral ‘Final Thoughts’ videos that people either love or love to hate. Last week, Noah invited Lahren to ‘debate’ on “The Daily Show.” Spoiler alert: no debate actually happened because Lahren bent the truth as usual and Noah kept changing the subject every three minutes.

One of these people OWNED the other. Which one you think probably depends on whether you watch Fox News or MSNBC.

Immediately after the show, TMZ published a photo that made it look as though Noah and Lahren were cozying up to each other over drinks (which they weren’t -- both production crews were in attendance as well and conveniently cropped out). Flirtation rumors were only fueled after Lahren posted a cute selfie posing with a cupcake she said was sent to her by Noah as a thank you.

On December 6, radio host Charlamagne Tha God tweeted, “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,” seemingly ignoring both the black and brown women who have created their own platforms and the fact that Lahren didn’t create her own platform -- she was given one as part of her job.

The Internet lost its collective mind.

The ultimate goal of both Noah and Charlamagne was to promote having conversations with people who hold different views, which I support wholeheartedly. I think that’s how we challenge ourselves, learn new things, and expand the way we see the world. For example, I can have productive and enlightening conversations with:

  • People who have different views on economic policy
  • People who have different views on foreign policy
  • People of different religious faiths
  • People who support the Cubs

Okay, maybe that last one is pushing it a little bit.

On the other hand, here is an example of a person who I choose not to engage:

  • Someone who uses their platform to actively promote false and harmful narratives

Where do you think Tomi Lahren falls?

It’s for this reason -- not because people cringe away from a different viewpoint -- that many have gotten upset about Noah’s decision to invite Lahren onto his show and about Charlamagne’s erasure of the work so many women of color are already doing.

I’ll give the girl some props. She knows how to catapult herself into the public eye. I’ve watched everything from her college broadcast days at UNLV to her early appearances on One America News Network to the viral videos she makes now. At a certain point on OANN (where, by the way, she was quite literally gifted a TV show after asking for an internship), she realized that videos where she ranted were what really raked in the views.

After moving to her current home at The Blaze, she capitalized on that. You don’t need facts when sweeping your viewers up in emotion leads to your content being shared hundreds of thousands of times.

This is part of the problem with Noah inviting Lahren on to his show for a ‘debate.’ Lahren is not in the business of reporting the facts. Her schtick is saying whatever will make people either applaud in agreement or rant about the video on social media, because either way, her view count goes up.

This is the same person who argues repeatedly that Black Lives Matter is equivalent to the KKK, completely ignoring the history and context of the Ku Klux Klan in order to make her point. Seeing as the Black Lives Matter movement has never worked with public officials to terrorize and publicly lynch white people, the comparison between the two organizations has zero basis whatsoever. But it's inflammatory, and controversy is where she lives.

She also believes that the Black Panthers were a terrorist organization that crusaded against white people (again, incorrect -- the Black Panthers were careful to distinguish between racist and non-racist white people and purposefully allied themselves with the latter, while championing truly horrific programs like free food for poor children) and thinks that weather is equivalent to climate. I could go on, but if I were to fact check every blown up claim or instance of faulty logic in her videos, this post would turn into an encyclopedia.

Despite the lack of evidence for these claims, Lahren's audience eats it up. And when you have millions of people watching, as she does, that is dangerous.

Noah wanted to have a conversation and reach people of different viewpoints, but he really just gave more ammunition to someone who wouldn’t know an unbiased fact if it smacked her across the face. While he has been making the media rounds defending his choice to bring her onto the show, Lahren has been bashing him for being unfair to her and crowing about how much she challenges herself by going behind enemy lines. Lahren gets to brag to her viewers about her black friends and how she’s open-minded enough to talk to stupid liberals while continuing to ignore anything that contradicts her points.

Does that sound like a productive debate, or does it sound like Noah got played?

The deterioration of facts has been on full display during a presidential election where we talked more about Trump’s scandals and Clinton’s emails than we did about the issues facing the country for the next four years. A political commentator actually claimed that there is no such thing as facts. Baseless conspiracy theories are putting people in danger. Fake news spreads like wildfire.

Yes, we absolutely need to break out of our echo chambers and speak to people with different views. But those views need to be based in fact. Without that common truth to work with, as the past week and months have shown, debates are just going to leave people angrier and more divided.
Cover Image Credit: Gage Skidmore

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To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.
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Hey,

So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?

Sincerely,

Me

Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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Yes, I'm A Feminist, No I Don't Hate All Men

Because if we want to promote equality, why fight that with mass hating a particular gender?

nadoty
nadoty
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I'd like to consider myself a feminist.

I am all for equal opportunity, equal pay, and equal rights. I believe that women should be granted the equal opportunities that males do, be free of harassment, not be scared to exist literally just because of their gender, have reproductive rights, be taken seriously when we think something is medically wrong with us, and be treated with the same respect and dignity as men do. Just because I believe all these things, however, doesn't mean I automatically hate men.

I've seen a big increase in trends that, just for men existing, people will post about how "men ain't shit," or how men ultimately suck just because of their gender. When reflecting upon this, however, I've come to realize isn't this a step in the wrong direction?

Obviously, I can't continue on until I say this: there is, in fact, times where men can really suck. White men in positions of power abusing that, men who are rapists, men who meddle in women's reproductive rights, abusers, men who think it's okay and even funny to harass others, etc. But it all comes down to this: just because you're a man doesn't mean I automatically hate you, and I don't think others should.

Sure, as mentioned above, there are garbage humans who abuse their positions of power as men in order to get what they want. THOSE are the people I hate, not others for existing just because they are men. When in reality, there are a lot of good men who recognize their positions of power and try and make up for it by advocating for those in need of advocacy, whether they are women or even minorities. There are men who are decent human beings, whether that is being nice to others, volunteering in their community, caring for those around them, or even men who are also feminists.

I think my argument has been made pretty clear: I do not and will not hate you just because you are a man. No one gets to choose whichever gender they are, so why should I hate a group of people for just being born male? If I want to promote equality as a feminist, why should I then believe that I am better because I am female? Why should I say I believe in equal treatment between genders, yet automatically hate you because you're a man?

So yes, some men truly, "ain't shit." I believe these men, however, are not good human beings. Men aren't terrible just because they are men, and I ultimately wish that those promoting total equality would realize that we cannot strive towards equal treatment, opportunities, and pay if we continue clumping one group together under the impression of, "they're men, they're terrible."

nadoty
nadoty

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