Before I delve into how Charlamagne and Trevor Noah played themselves, let’s outline the triangle of major characters:
1) Charlamagne tha God – Co-host of the nationally syndicated radio show, The Breakfast Club
2) Trevor Noah – Host of The Daily Show on Comedy Central
3) Tomi Lahren – 24-year-old conservative political commentator and host of Tomi for TheBlaze
IMPORTANT CONTEXT: Lahren’s “Final Thoughts” videos have earned millions of likes and shares on Facebook. Back in February, she criticized Beyoncé’s performance at the Super Bowl 50 halftime show, stating, “This isn’t about equality, this is about ram roding an agenda down our throats and using fame and entertainment to do so… You [and many others] just can’t let America heal. Keep ripping off the historical band-aid.”
Lahren has also been a vocal critic of the national anthem protests started by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. In a Facebook video titled “Sit Down Colin Kaepernick”, she states, “I support the First Amendment. I support your right to freedom of speech and expression… It protects your right to be a whiny, indulgent, attention-seeking crybaby.”
Lahren has ALSO been highly critical of the Black Lives Matter movement. Back in August, she tweeted this and then later deleted it:
“Meet the new KKK, they call themselves ‘Black Lives Matter’ but make no mistake their goals are far from equality. #Dallas #bluelivesmatter”
Now that you are familiar with the cast, let’s see how this drama unfolded:
November 30, 2016 – Lahren appeared on The Daily Show for a 26-minute interview that touched on topics such as Donald Trump, Black Lives Matter and Colin Kaepernick.
Following the taping of the show, TMZ caught Noah and Lahren grabbing drinks together in New York. Um… okay.
December 1, 2016 – Lahren’s publicist reportedly shut down an interview with The Breakfast Club, likely due to the public reaction to the Daily Show interview. It sucked, because I’m sure we were all looking forward to this interview… right?
LATER THAT DAY, TMZ caught Lahren and Charlamagne walking around Times Square. Maybe discussing why she decided to blow off an appearance on his radio show, but what do I know?
December 2, 2016 – Lahren and Charlamagne decided to pose for a few pictures, so what does the 24-year-old millennial (who, by the way, doesn’t like labels, but proceeded to label herself as a millennial in the Daily Show interview) do? Post it on her Instagram account:
December 6, 2016 – Charlamagne sent out a series a tweets, essentially calling out the efforts of black and Latina women that can counteract right-wing personalities such as Lahren.
Would be dope if a young black or Hispanic "WOKE" woman used social media to create a Platform to be a voice like Tomi Lahren did.
— Charlamagne Tha God (@cthagod) December 7, 2016
As you can imagine, that did not sit well with… well… black and Latina women.
intent doesn't absolve impact. sometimes you gotta take the L & just acknowledge you said the wrong thing @cthagod
— Franchesca Ramsey (@chescaleigh) December 7, 2016
Fam, you're not serious… https://t.co/aFCsf7q3wo
— jamilah (@JamilahLemieux) December 7, 2016
This is intentional gaslighting. Don't fall for it. This is an old lie and he knows it. Don't succumb to the cape. He must need attention. pic.twitter.com/KksqXkLzWC
— HRod17@IWonTho.com (@FeministaJones) December 7, 2016
Don't tweet him examples
Don't get defensive
He is a Black man intentionally lying to downplay the work of Black/Latina women
— HRod17@IWonTho.com (@FeministaJones) December 7, 2016
A LITTLE OVER AN HOUR LATER, Lahren posted this on her Instagram:
December 7, 2016 – The Breakfast Club interviewed Trevor Noah for almost 45 minutes. If you would like to subject yourself, go ahead:
Okay… that was A LOT. So how did Charlamagne and Trevor Noah “play themselves?”
Let’s start with Charlamagne… because it’s obvious where he messed up.
What Charlamagne was trying to say is that he wishes that a black or Latina woman had similar visibility to that of Lahren. The problem was that he just couldn’t help but phrase that thought in a way that takes a direct shot at black and Latina women. To make matters worse, he used a woman who calls out and criticizes black people as his counterexample.
Congratulations Charlamagne… YOU PLAYED YOURSELF.
Now, Trevor Noah’s situation requires some CONTEXT.
Noah’s view on race in America is heavily influenced by his upbringing in South Africa. In a recent New York Times article, Noah explained that, “I grew up under the harsh racial oppression of apartheid as a person of mixed ethnicity. The lines between black and white were clearly drawn and enforced with guns and tanks, but because I am neither black nor white, I was forced to live between those lines.”
(For those that don’t know, “apartheid” was a system of institutionalized racial segregation in South Africa that took place from 1948 to 1991.)
Although Noah may see himself as neither black nor white, in America, Noah is black man.
In his lifetime, South Africa has transformed into a minority-black ruled nation as opposed to a minority-white ruled nation in the years before 1994. Noah has likely come across people in his life that changed their views on race over time.
With all of that in mind, it’s not surprising that Noah does not have American viewpoints on race and it’s understandable why he may have a certain optimism when it comes to topic involving race.
Now let’s apply these views of race to that of Lahren, who has no particular insight on any of her opinions, especially those involving Black Lives Matter. She’s famous for what she SAYS, not what she THINKS. Did anyone actually think that she would offer any insight that makes you think, “Oh, I never thought of it like that,” on the Daily Show? All she did was emphasize and double-down on the inflammatory remarks that have sparked her rise to fame.
There was no way that Noah was going to change Lahren’s thought process in a 26-minute interview, and if he was trying to change her mind, that’s not a discussion for television. That discussion is for phone calls, FaceTime, or in this case, drinks and a potential cupcake date down the line.
Okay, maybe not the cupcake date, but you get my point… making these conversations public is pointless, especially for Noah. All that does is get more people to tune in and watch a woman that spews borderline-racist propaganda converse with a black man. In this case, more eyeballs can only HELP Lahren as she continues to grow her brand.
Before extending an invitation for Lahren to come on his show, Noah should have asked himself, “Do I get anything out of this person extending their brand on my platform?” Now, the obvious response would be, “Oh, well he gets to make this woman look silly and call her out on her past remarks.”
However, the point that most people are missing is that Lahren doesn’t need Noah’s help to look silly because she does a fantastic job of doing that all by herself. So inviting Lahren to come on a left-leaning show to expose her simply reinforces what people already think about her.
In the end, Noah got very little to nothing out of this exchange and Lahren got to extend her brand to even wider audience.
Congratulations Trevor Noah… YOU PLAYED YOURSELF.
Now let’s never talk about this subject again, okay? Okay.
Well, actually… before doing that, let me know what you think in the comment section below or send me a tweet (@danny_shin131).