If there is one Conservative pundit of this generation that has caused quite the stir in the African American community outside of Candace Owens, it would be Tomi Lahren, who might easily top the list. The right-wing anchor and advocate spends a great deal of her time online disparaging the “BLM” movement and other civil issues with African-Americans, especially targeting rappers.
Lahren’s notoriety rose so high that she started to hit mainstream media for interviews, most notably on the Daily Show with Trevor Noah. While in their interview both held firm to their opposing views, the interview proved to be a learning experience at least for both parties. Social media became a bit confused afterward, however, when the two were caught having drinks by TMZ in NYC after the show’s taping.
The fallout from their interview and reactions from the viral photo caused her publicist to cancel her scheduled upcoming appearance on The Breakfast Club as well. Charlamagne later told TMZ that he just wanted to “get people to know Toni”, disappointed that the interview wouldn’t be going down as intended. “I want to get to know Tomi. I don’t know what Tomi’s about,” he said.
Charlamagne appeared on her platform, a nightly program that she hosts called Tomi after she went on a rant following Beyonce’s Super Bowl halftime performance where she debuted her controversial single “Formation” live. His seemingly budding friendship with Lahren caused a stir, as many found it to be problematic. But a tweet that the radio host and author sent out referencing Lahren sent Twitter into a frenzy.
“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,” tweeted Charlamagne. He interviewed shortly after with The Daily Beast to try and offer up some clarification not only on his words but on his relationship with Lahren.
“It’s honestly just one of those things where it was taken out of context,” the Moncks Corner, SC native said. “In my mind, I had every intention of saying something positive. I honestly thought I was riding for women of color. The tweet was like, ‘It would be dope if a woman of color created a platform to control our narratives the way Tomi Lahren did.’ Because let’s be real: Tomi Lahren is going to be a young voice of the conservative right for at least as long as the Trump administration is in The White House. So where are our voices on the left that can combat a lot of that bulls**t? Not necessarily just from her, but in general.”
He then went on to acknowledge CNN commentators Symone Sanders and Angela Rye, but further attempts to clarify that he would like a pundit with a constant online presence like Lahren. Claiming to have not known about her prior to 2016, he spoke on why he chose to give her the title of “Donkey of the Day” on The Breakfast Club, as well as why he reached out to her in the first place.
“…Everybody was sending me links and being like, ‘You gotta go in on this girl, you need to give her Donkey of the Day,’” he explained. “She was talking about Beyoncé and the Super Bowl, and I went to watch it. And I’m a Pinkett-Smith-Winfrey-Knowles-Carter. That’s my last name. I’m a Beyoncé stan. But it wasn’t necessarily just what she was saying about Beyoncé and Jay Z, it was what she was saying about the Black Panthers. She was calling the Black Panthers a hate group and comparing them to the KKK and I’m like…no. Those are the moments we got to use to teach. Cause she’s a 23-year-old white girl from South Dakota, maybe she really thinks that!”
He added, “So I did give her a Donkey of the Day. Her network reached out and asked me to go on the show and I’m like yea, I would love to. Cause I would love to go and poke holes in that narrative. And that’s exactly what I did when we debated about the Black Panthers and Beyoncé and Jay Z, back in February. And from that point on, we always would communicate via email, and we’d have conversations because she is a young-a** girl who don’t know s**t!
The New York Times Bestselling author went on to explain that his conversations with Lahren about why her rhetoric is dangerous to African Americans, and that while she understood some things and didn’t understand others, he gained a better knowledge of why she feels the way she does.
In a recent interview with brobible, Lahren touched on her relationship with Charlemagne, who she said updates her on when she is starting to shake the table. “If you’re familiar with Charlamagne tha God from The Breakfast Club, he’s the one who told me [about her feud with Jay-z]. I wouldn’t say we were friends, but we had reached the point where he would tip me off when the rap community is upset with me,” the Tomi host stated. “He was the one to email me and said, ‘hey, just so you know, you’re in Jay-Z and Pusha T song.’ Sure enough, there I am on ‘Drug Dealers Anonymous.’ He also let me know that I was in the Wale song when he gave me my famous nickname Tammy Lahren. Charlamagne also emailed me about that one.”
She continued, “If a rapper’s coming after me, you’re gonna know about it. It’s crazy, I can’t really name all of them at this point. It’s been Jay-Z, Pusha T, The Game, Cardi B, 21 Savage… Maybe that’s it. And then obviously, Beyonce and Jay-Z are kinda together on that. I’ve gone back and forth with all of them. Also, I’ve been getting a lot of Google alerts lately about Cardi B, talking about WAP and talking about how conservatives went after her for that song. And in every Google alert I get, they mentioned a couple of other names and then they mention me. I’d like to set the record straight for the first time here and now — I never went after her for that song. I think that that’s what she should be rapping about, I think that that is what she should be doing. I don’t hate it, I love it. Go be you. Sing about dirty things. I’m a lover of rap music, I like that song. Just don’t start talking about politics and telling me that Donald Trump is a racist. Don’t come into my world if you’re not prepared to be questioned over it. I have no problem with that song. You do you… That’s good with me, I prefer that.”