A conservative talking head, Tomi Lehren of Glenn Beck’s The Blaze TV, recently lashed out at the BET Awards for, wait for it…being concerned with issues of the African American community.
Lehren suggests that the “issues” of America’s black community raised, for example, in the speech given by actor Jesse Williams, don’t actually exist.
Williams’ address touched eloquently on the issues faced by African Americans every day, without even getting into some of the more polarizing issues like police brutality. Lehren still, however, managed to find points of contention with Williams.
Williams said, in part, speaking to what American black people face:
‘[American racism is] burying black people out of sight and out of mind, while extracting our culture, our dollars, our entertainment like oil, black gold. Ghettoizing and demeaning our creations then stealing them, gentrifying our genius and then trying us on like costumes before discarding our bodies like rinds of strange fruit. The thing is, though, the thing is that just because we’re magic, doesn’t mean we’re not real.’
And Lehren, somehow, managed to find a problem with that. Somehow, in her view, black people are not a real and legitimate group that can legitimately and unashamedly serve their own self interest.
That’s the kind of response that Williams anticipated when he said that American racism doesn’t mean that black people “aren’t real.” Somehow it is acceptable for Lehren to rant about white people but not for Williams to speak to issues of black people while at the BET Awards.
Lehren began by saying, “The BET Awards were last night, notably they were very black. Oh, but can I say that? What with my whiteness and all? Well, too damn bad.”
The BET awards were “established in 2001 by the Black Entertainment Television network to celebrate African Americans and other minorities in music, acting, sports, and other fields of entertainment over the past year.” And that’s the result of a simple Google search.
Maybe Lehren forgot to fact check? Is she really going off on an awards ceremony that was founded to celebrate black people for celebrating black people?
Sadly, the answer is yes.
She wasn’t finished, though. It got worse.
She continued, saying, “It sure seems like you want special treatment, it sure sounds like you would like a gold star at the end of the day just for being born. Get over yourself.”
Actually, Lehren, no, not a gold star. But, yes, the simple achievement of surviving as a black person in the United States is an accomplishment, in the face of everything from mass poverty to mass murder of blacks by police.
You can watch Lehren’s rant below.
Featured Image is via Screenshot from the Video.