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Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Columns

‘Final Thoughts’ host thinks little about why people protest


Last week, “The Daily Show” host Trevor Noah invited cutthroat conservative commentator and rising social-media star Tomi Lahren on his show to discuss her program on TheBlaze.

While Lahren’s aggressiveness and refusal to recant her controversial statements in the middle of a staunchly Democratic crowd is admirable, the most important question of the night went unanswered: “How should a black person bring up their grievances? What is the right way?”

Lahren is well-known for her fiery rebuke of San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick after he began taking a knee during the national anthem.

During the interview, she constantly stated that there is a right way to protest while dodging Noah’s question on a way to do so without being inflammatory.

In all fairness, it isn’t an easy question, but here’s a simplified way of explaining her hesitancy to answer: In the opinion of some, there is no right way for African-Americans to protest.

Lahren made this clear when, at the end of the interview, Noah asked her how she would protest. 

Her brilliant answer? “I don’t protest, because I’m not a victim. I choose not to victimize myself.”

An ignorant statement, to say the least.

The United States, aside from being built on the backs of immigrants, also has a strong history of protesting. Without that right, Lahren definitely wouldn’t have the opportunity to speak her mind — if not for women choosing to victimize themselves.

If not for Americans being victims, Lahren would be singing “God Save the Queen” instead of trashing a quarterback for not standing during the “Star-Spangled Banner.”

There is much more to consider when judging a movement on how they protest. The most important element: Why? It is thoughtless and insensitive to speak about an issue without comprehension and a viable solution for it.

Everyone has their right to disagree, and Lahren is a strong speaker who has amassed a large following. It’s reckless of her to broadcast a hypocritical message — one that she seems to have as much trouble understanding as she does responding thoughtfully to.

Lahren harped on the Black Lives Matter movement’s responsibility to police the actions of people who march in its name while refusing to acknowledge that, like Donald Trump’s “alt-right” supporters, the actions and beliefs of some don’t define the cause.

Her solution not to protest is idiotic and hypocritical, not just to African-Americans, but to every group that has protested to see change.

African-Americans don’t protest to victimize themselves. They protest because, just like other groups, they see that the way things are going isn’t bettering them.

Martin Luther King showed the country that protesting can be done peacefully, but his critics were as loud as, if not louder than, Lahren — and more violent. 

Rosa Parks protested without using violence when shesat in the front of a bus. She was hated for it.

Looting and rioting isn’t the right approach, and BLM leaders have publicly called for an end to violence. Just as Trump has gained an unsavory following, so has the movement.

For change to arrive, keep protesting. Whether Lahren acknowledges it or agrees with it, no one will progress if they sit around and hope for a miracle.

Senior staff Columnist Caprice Carter is a communication junior and can be reached at [email protected]

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