Charlamagne On His Regrets With The Lil Duval Interview And What He Really Meant With That Tweet About Black Women & Tomi Lahren
If you’ve read the times I’ve addressed Charlamagne’s name here, you know that he’s one of my problematic faves. I think he’s so important for the culture, such a breath of fresh air in a world where people are afraid to speak up and out when it comes to celebrities. Still, his some of his antiquated views, whether homophobic or misogynistic often get in the way. And because I think so highly of him, it stings, even more, when he does something cringe-worthy for impressionable Black folk to hear.
The interview with Lil Duval was bordering on one of those moments. After just speaking to Janet Mock, earlier that same week it was literally painful to listen to Duval joke about killing trans women. And while Charlamagne did speak up and tell Duval his comments weren’t right, he and DJ Envy used the cover of her book as some type of hot or not, rate me test, which in and of itself was not smart. But the fact that it took place with a man who clearly didn’t have an ounce knowledge or human decency to offer made a bad situation that much worse.
So when Charlamagne sat down with Natasha Alford, from theGrio, he spoke about what he would have changed about that interview.
“I wish I would have edited the conversation we had with Lil Duval about the transgender community. In hindsight, it wasn’t productive. I don’t mind having an uncomfortable conversation if those uncomfortable conversations can lead to a bigger dialogue and help us get to a better understanding of whatever it is we are discussing. But in that case, it wasn’t beneficial to anybody. It wasn’t beneficial to The Breakfast Club, it wasn’t beneficial to Lil DuvaI and most importantly, it wasn’t beneficial to the transgender community. So, what was the point? It could have been a healthy dialogue about disclosure. Should someone disclose what they were born as. That probably could have been, maybe a healthy conversation. But other than that, it was just pointless. Maybe because Duval is my friend and I know him and I know that he didn’t mean that with malicious intent, maybe I didn’t take it as serious as I should have…We can’t sit around and act like we’re all not living amongst each other. That’s not the way America works. And at the end of the day, she’s still Black to me. I’m not here for anybody being oppressed at all.”
When Alford asked if Charlamagne wished he’d pushed back harder, he said he might have just edited it out entirely.
“It’s definitely not a conversation I’m equipped to have. It’s a lot of information I didn’t know. At the time, I think it was 14 transgender people were killed this year. I didn’t know that. I just knew when I heard my man say that, I’m like ‘that’s not right, you can’t just go around saying you want to do stuff like that.’ That’s just not right. That’s just how I felt. If I knew more about that community or if I was a member of that community, I definitely would’ve pushed back harder.”
And then the controversy he found himself in, when he said Black women should use their platform like Tomi Lahren.
“I learned that every conversation shouldn’t be had via social media. I just think it was a bad time to have that conversation. When I posted that on social media, I was really coming from a genuine place. Because in my mind, I’m sitting there thinking, I watch us on social media all the time and we make “Scandal” trend every week and “How To Get Away With Murder” and “Insecure.” Whenever Black women and women of color get together, they get us out the paint. They can bring anybody down via social media. So I’m like why can’t we lift our people up. All Tomi got is infrastructure. I know people talk about “The Blaze” but “The Blaze” ain’t sh*t. But you go to her Facebook page even after she got fired from “The Blaze” she’s still getting millions of views on her videos. So In my mind I’m like why can’t we build up somebody from our community that way. Because a lot of times we build people up with hate and don’t even realize it. So you got people who ride for her, who believe the bullshit she’s saying but then you got us who’s attacking her for the shit she’s saying. So you have the perfect storm. I was speaking strictly infrastructure. I don’t want any of my sisters to be like Tomi Lahren. You all are smarter, sharper, more articulate, brilliant so why would I want y’all to be like her? I was simply talking infrastructure. I would never take back that tweet because it started a productive dialogue and that’s the night I met Angela Rye. That’s family. That’s just one of those people I wish I knew my whole life. For me [and] my wife, that’s our sister. She’s absolutely [an example]. I got two Black daughters.”
He also mentioned that during his meeting with Tomi Lahren, where they offered him a show with her, he said he took her to task for her opinions, how the hurt the Black community, her critique of Black Lives Matter, and how her plane is going to land but the wheels aren’t going to come out.
This is why I keep holding out hope for him.
You can watch the full interview in the video below.