Tomi Lahren, despite my personal biases, is an impressive individual. She’s young, intelligent, and has managed to gain a huge following in a short amount of time. Her Final Thoughts videos attract millions of views on Facebook, and her rhetoric is packed with some intense power. Yet, if you are an active viewer of Tomi’s videos, I urge you to stop being one.
I tend to hesitate when I go to criticize Tomi Lahren because I know how much work it takes for a woman to become successful in the realm of news media, especially on the conservative end. Women in the news media are commonly sexualized and their voices are discounted as not as important as the voices of their male counterparts. Criticizing Tomi can sound like man-splaining, as if to say, “okay missy, now let the men do the talking.” We must be cautious not to discredit was she says because of her gender. Tomi Lahren is an impressive individual and her accomplishments should be noted.
The reason I criticize and despise what Tomi says is due to the fact that her monologues are often filled with misguided, ignorant, and oftentimes borderline-racist messages that, when coupled with her fiery tone, creates ear candy for her viewers that is near-impossible to ignore.
The first video of Tomi that I ever watched was her Final Thoughts on Colin Kaepernick’s National Anthem protest. If you are not familiar with the issue, NFL player Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the National Anthem during a preseason game earlier this year. Kaepernick said that he took a knee to garner attention to oppression that African Americans face in the United States.
In the video, Tomi criticized his approach to protesting “perceived oppression,” and contests that Kaepernick must hate white people, which he never once says, implies, or even expresses at all. I hated this video because it managed to get millions of views and most of what she said in the video was based off information that didn’t exist. My biggest problem with her in that particular video was the “perceived oppression” bit. Sorry, but if you still refuse to recognize that African Americans are more than twice as likely to be killed by police officers you have some work to do. Educate yourself, for oppression of blacks is not perceived. It exists.
And yet, Tomi spews the belief that black people are just whiners who submit to their own victimization, and makes Colin Kaepernick out to be a racist who hates white people. That was not the case at all, but it didn’t matter. Tomi says all of this misguided information in such an edgy way that her viewers fall for it. Her speaking style is so captivating that the actual content of the video is glossed over. In a recent interview, Trevor Noah asked Tomi why she was so angry. The reason is because Tomi knows that will get her more views, no matter what she says.
Tomi’s Colin Kaepernick video is not the only case where she has come off as racist. She once tweeted that the Black Lives Matter movement is the new KKK equivalent for black people. If you happened to agree with her on that, just think about it for a second. The KKK lynched black people; they gruesomely murdered African Americans throughout history. Calling Black Lives Matter the new KKK is incredibly ignorant and racist. This goes without mentioning that Black Lives Matter is not a hate group, rather members hope to achieve equality and stop police brutality in the United States. The people responsible for killing five Dallas police officers were not associated with Black Lives Matter, although the media made it seem that way. That was Tomi’s justification for calling BLM the new KKK according to the tweet she posted after the shootings.
Tomi’s ignorance not only exists when it comes to issues with race but issues with every other social identity out there. She has consistently shunned transgender rights, calling transgender people “drag queens” and saying a new law would allow people to self-identify as whatever they want to assault other bathroom users. Last time I checked, transgender people are not all “drag queens” and assaulting someone in a bathroom is still illegal.
She also recently posted a Final Thoughts video asked men to be “real men” by learning how to change a spare tire and other skills that are stereotypical to masculinity. She has spoken before about women being shunned by societal barriers and remains unaware that asking men to conform to masculine standards will result in women being held to their feminine standards: working at home, keeping their mouth shut, and only mattering if they are sexy enough. To Tomi’s disdain there are men who are more sensitive, but it is because we are try to achieve gender equality in this country. Telling men to man-up is counter-productive.
Tomi Lahren may be a prominent and effective female voice for conservative issues, but she is clueless when it comes to social issues. If you subscribe to her daily dose of hate and anger to learn more about the social issues going on in our country, you are contributing to your own ignorance. She has no clue what she is talking about half the time and is not interested in achieving equality in this country. Another thing to realize is that she is not a news source. Her facts are highly skewed. Her positions are highly skewed. Yet I know people who rely on her for what is going on in the country. She will tell you, but only through her point of view and through her captivating, angry voice.
Moral of the story; diversify your news coverage and do not buy into what Tomi is talking about unless you have done the work and whole-heartedly agree with her. Being informed and still agreeing with her is one thing. If you happened to stumble upon her when you were checking your Facebook, I suggest you keep scrolling.