Twitter's Upset at Tomi Lahren & You Should Be, Too

Tomi Lahren’s at it again, ya’ll.

Time and time again, she’s been the queen of Twister, claiming to inadvertently be the poster child for the alt-right (I mean, duh, blonde hair blue eyes much) and then making a left-wing comment that lands herself in trouble with her conservative colleagues (like when she got fired).

This weekend, Tomi found herself in another pot of trouble, no thanks to an Instagram Story vid and some sassy Twitter SJWs.

On Friday, Tomi posted a video of herself lip syncing/rapping to 21 Savage to Instagram Story, and no sooner did she do so, Twitter was all over it. Almost all the users denounced her for it, angry that she could so often discredit rap and other segments of black culture but then basically participate in it.


My favorite tweet from the whole ordeal:


So, what? You think. So she likes rap.

THAT’S THE PROBLEM.

You can’t say something adds to the degeneration of America and then participate in it yourself.

Think about this. It’s so much bigger than Tomi posting this video.

We see this all the time with white celebrities, especially in the entertainment industry. When Miley Cyrus started twerking and Katy Perry started sporting cornrows, people LOVED it. Sure, there were some uptight haters, but for the most part people accepted it and moved on, then REJOICING when they “got their lives back together” and started acting “appropriate” again.

Let’s unpack the problems with this:

1. It says that the minority culture is only cool when the members of the majority participate in it.

No, seriously. When Rihanna used indigenous West Indie language in one of her hits, many felt that she wasn’t even using real words and thought it was ridiculous until they were proved wrong. People thought it was Rihanna being disrespectful, singing nonsense, but in reality it was everyone else who was being disrespectful to her culture and the history of the West Indies. 

2. Only white women’s actions are the ones that should be done by all other women.

This has been happening for YEARS. Personally, I’m not the biggest fan of Beyonce, and the reason why relates directly to this. As a member of Destiny’s Child (which there used to be FOUR members of and Michelle Williams isn't even an OG member, fyi for all you FAKE FANS out there), Beyonce and her co-stars were perpetuating black culture. From the rhythms of their songs, the styles they wore, and even the way their voices sounded, they perpetuated and, you could argue, thrived in black culture. But, once Beyonce decided to go out on her own solo career (and for those brief glory years the trio had when they released their Greatest Hits album), she transformed into a white-washed version of herself. You can even look up pictures: lighter hair, different clothes, and her music style changed completely. Some would argue that this change was a necessity due to the ever-evolving music industry, but I call that bullshit. Beyonce was complicit in her whitewashing so that she could make money. Sure, I give her kudos for creating a fan base in the white community so that when she did revert to her “roots” as some called "Formation", she wasn’t given huge criticism for it (which is good bc that whole album speaks volumes to race relations in America). But I still don’t believe denying your identity and attempting to distance yourself from it is doing anybody any favors (but, I’m also speaking as a privileged white woman, so that’s probably influencing my opinion, too).

Anyways, back to Tomi.

Something else happened, an unintended consequence of her posting that video:

Some black men were happy about it, actually calling her attractive.

Twitter, wasn’t having that, either:


It’s amazing to me that, even after someone would say things like Tomi does, this one act makes her now an amazing person in the eyes of some people.

That’s like saying that Trump’s comments about MLK suddenly cancel out the things he said about Africa and their shithole countries (note: none of the countries in Africa are shitholes. Hot as Hell, maybe, but certainly not shitholes).

It doesn’t.

Or, my other favorite: the Tokenization.

See, Tomi’s not racist -- she likes rap music!

I LIKE RED SAUCE ON MY PIZZA BUT THAT DOESN’T MEAN I SUDDENLY DON’T HATE TOMATOES, SUSAN.

“Enjoying” or “including” one facet of non-white culture is one of the many definitions for tokenization. It’s most often seen in the context of white people having that “one black friend,” but here we see it in the way that Tomi presents the song. She’s trying to prove to people that she isn’t racist, and for all the uneducated folks, they believed her. But, for the rest of us, we recognize the ploy she’s attempting, and we’re telling her it’s uncool.

But, why does this matter to you? Well, for one, if it doesn’t make you mad, then you’re part of the problem concerning race in our country. If you’re also one of the ones who’s “tired” of hearing race discussed on a public scale and are hating everything I’m saying, you are -- you guessed it -- part of the problem, too. Tomi’s behavior is an attack on those lives you claim matter so much: all of them. By not being angry, or at least upset, it says that white people could care less. It says that you’re okay with loving black songs but not loving the idea of stricter punishments for police officers who shoot unarmed black men. It says that white women celebrities can have cornrows and big earrings and dance in certain ways but black women celebrities can't sing in the languages of their ancestry without being subject to scrutiny. It says that me writing this is progressive but a black woman writing this is just another unnecessary rant about racism. 

Don’t be complacent. Be proactive. Get educated. If some of the terms, concepts, or assertions in this piece confused, angered, or hurt you, pick up a sociology book on race. Don’t know where to find one of those? Well, you at least know one person who does. Don’t be that person who puts overused speech quotes on Facebook for MLK Day and then not be upset about this -- don’t be a Tomi.