I am not an egomaniac, but I do know how Twitter works. My response to Tomi Lahren’s idiotic tweet about Colin Kaepernick has at current writing nearly 1,200 retweets and almost 3,000″likes” or “favorites” as they used to be called. My tweet response to her is bar none my most viral tweet, whatever the fuck that’s good for. But my point is that there is not a chance in Hell that Frau Lahren hasn’t read it, and yet her response has been deafening silence. So I intend to just answer my rhetorical question for her, since the answer is pretty damned self-evident.
First, her original tweet and my response:
In case you missed it, Ms. Lahren first got under my skin with her viral rant about Colin Kaepernick sitting down during the National Anthem during this year’s games. Tomi was all hot and bothered by someone who is half-white, employed by white people, and with white fans would dare to speak out about police treatment of black people. Because apparently to her, a paycheck from a white employer equates to you agreeing that racism is dead, and there aren’t any racist white people in America.
So, I wrote the following in response to her idiotic “Final Word” segment on Kaepernick, and you can read it here:
Spoiler Alert: I think she’s both racist and bone chillingly stupid.
But let’s get back to my tweet that she ignored, yes? We all know why she ignored it. My question, about why she feels the need to boot people who don’t agree with her out of her country, if her country is so great, gets to the very simple paradigm that conservatives who profess to love the Constitution do so only by cherry picking the situations where they want to apply it. The reality is that what Kaepernick is protesting is very real. The data is there; black people are disproportionately killed by cops as opposed to white people, but Tomi doesn’t want to address that fact, so she instead tore Kaepernick apart while wrapped in a (Confederate) flag.
She played the “people have died for your freedom” card. Because I guess she thinks that those people died so that Colin Kaepernick, and everyone else, would exercise their freedom of speech and expression only in the way she sees fit. I’m not arguing that Tomi is somehow claiming the government should force the 49er quarterback to stand, but I am suggesting that she clearly thinks not doing so makes you un-American. Which means that she would’ve thought the same thing of the black athletes who raised their fists in defiance at the ’68 Olympics, or even Jackie Robinson, who broke baseball’s color barrier while also not standing during the national anthem.
White privilege, Tomi Larhen be thy name.
It is the height of white privilege to tell a person of color they can’t protest because it offends your lily-white sensibilities. Maybe if people like Tomi Lahren would stop making excuses for racism, the Colin Kaepernicks of the world wouldn’t have to protest the National Anthem. But it’s the hubris and condescension that are most repugnant about Larhen’s views on Kapernick, more than anything else.
Lahren had no problem with people “disrespecting” the country by pointing rifles at federal agents in Nevada or Oregon. If someone hangs their flag upside down, or hangs a Confederate flag — which is a direct slap in the face to the U.S. government and we, the people — does Tomi bat a fake eyelash?
Of course she doesn’t.
Tomi didn’t answer my tweet because she knows I had her dead to rights. There is no way she could argue that she loves the First Amendment and freedom of speech while telling us all that if we express a feeling abut something we don’t like here we have to leave. That tweet is stupider than her segment on Kaepernick, because at least in that she gave lip service to respecting his freedom of speech.
Tomi’s tweet, however, belies the fundamental problem with alt-right politicians and commentators — they think they’re so above it all. They’re not. There is literally nothing more un-American than telling people they can’t criticize America. There is nothing more antithetical to the very notion of the Constitution than telling someone they should leave the country if they don’t say the things you want them to say, or do the things you want them to do.
Her tweet is nothing more than an empty rehash of a trite, meaningless platitude I got sick of in the post-9/11 days. “America, love it or leave it.” It was stupid and un-American then, and it’s still stupid and un-American to this day.
Tomi Lahren acts like she doesn’t like the First Amendment, and that she doesn’t love or respect it. She ignored my tweet because she knows she didn’t attack the substance of Kaepernick’s protest; just the fact that he dared to protest.
“You were raised white, so act white,” as it where.
She couldn’t answer my tweet without the subtext being, “You’re correct. If I truly thought this country was great, I’d respect people’s rights enough to let them criticize it. Or at the very least criticize their argument with facts.” Then again, expecting intellectual honesty from a Trump supporter is like expecting a concise, scientifically literate explanation of climate change from a Trump supporter.
I’m here, waiting Tomi, whenever you have a moment to banter.
Follow James on Twitter @JamboSchlarmbo.