Stop Giving Right-Wingers The Time Of Day *Cough* Tomi Lahren
If you haven’t heard, yesterday the internet was buzzing after right-wing commentator, Tomi Lahren, was schooled by The Daily Show’s, Trevor Noah. In the interview, Tomi aka the “White Power Barbie” threw out many controversial statements such as ” I don’t see color,” and compared the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement to the Ku Klux Klan. Overall, the woman is absolutely ridiculous and it will boggle your mind even further to know that she’s only 24 years old. But the larger issue is why we as a populace keep giving these right-wingers the time of day?
It should be noted that Tomi Lahren is not the first right-winger to manipulate the media in return for getting wide scale coverage and stimulating mass interest. An obvious example is President-Elect Donald Trump. We have witnessed in countless instances how Trump’s explosive, divisive and intimidating rhetoric has ignited a large-scale response and further incited reactions–whether good or bad (mostly bad #PostTrumpEra.)
In observing Tomi Lahren’s inflammatory remarks in opposition to celebrities’ support of BLM and her criticism of President Obama’s response to the fatal shooting in Chattanooga, TN, Tomi is strategic and savvy. She uses the age-old propaganda tactic of “playing the media like a fiddle” and tailoring her controversial tongue to whip out buzz words and phrases destined to become viral. In mixing politics with pop culture, Tomi is capitalizing on the media’s quip for what’s trending in order to galvanize her own platform and further spew nonsense covered with cries over 1st amendment rights.
Tomi and other right-wingers’ strategy is nothing new, and actually quite similar to other historically polarizing figures, such as Adolf Hitler. Now, before we get fired up about comparing a young, possibly opportunistic commentator to a dangerous and treacherous tyrant–hear me out. In this age of social media and internet sensations, the way the system of “15-seconds of famers” sustains is to find new ways to capture the media’s attention and this technique is perfectly executed by Tomi and her team. Just as Nazi Germany infiltrated all forms of art, literature, news, etc. by forcing ideals of nationalism rooted in fear and control– similar patterns occurs in how the media is used to stimulate a response based in fear or disapproval of opposing viewpoints. The goal is to suck us in by gaining our attention, stimulating a response and then question why we are reacting in the first place. Gaslighting, anyone?
As with other controversial commentators, such as Ann Coulter, the formula for stimulating the most discussion is to say the most outrageous thing that comes to mind, mix in something about Black Lives Matter and sprinkle a dose of “I’m not racist but..” and boom! Viral internet sensation in 3..2…1! Which is why we–yes, we the people whose clicks, retweets, likes, shares and comments count, need to stop giving these people the time of day. If we really want change, let’s stop supporting the people who are continuously minimalizing our fight for equality and human rights and instead express our disdain by disengaging with the foolishness. In sum — stop entertaining the right-winged foolery!