Happy Thanksgiving, now have some political discussion courtesy of Tomi Lahren and Colin Kaepernick.
Conservative pundit Tomi Lahren has never shied from controversy, having debated both Trevor Noah and Charlamagne Tha God on topics of race, politics, and social justice. Yet, like many young conservative pundits, Lahren is not above playing the role of a provocateur, and the Fox News contributor recently stirred up some controversy over a tweeted aimed squarely at GQ's man of the year, Colin Kaepernick. By now, you either stand (or kneel, technically) with Kaep or you don't, but you can't deny that the former NFL player has become one of the most influential and important figures in the discourse surrounding race relations, police brutality, and systemic injustice.
You don't have to like him. There are some who agree with his sentiment, yet feel some type of way about his perceived disrespect of the American flag. There are others who simply write him off as an attention seeker, and many (often conservative) tend to belittle his importance to the cause. Yet the fact that so many people feel the need to tear him down simply proves his impact, even if his haters don't want to acknowledge it. That didn't stop Tomi Lahren from taking some time out of her Thanksgiving routine to fire off a Photoshopped rendition of Kaepernick kneeling during the D-Day assault of Normandy, along with the caption "food for thought."
Food for thought. pic.twitter.com/2ita0blH0O— Tomi Lahren (@TomiLahren) November 23, 2017
As expected, many were not pleased with Lahren's sentiment, and began clowning the pundit over her deliberately evocative post. Some called it disrespectful, while others were quick to put her on blast for her callous comparison.
And your service to America has been exactly what? Whining?— Col. Morris Davis (@ColMorrisDavis) November 24, 2017
It’s thanksgiving, give us a break with your hate mongering bullshit and go be with loved ones if you have anyone who stands being around you.— Mohanad Elshieky (@MohanadElshieky) November 23, 2017
You disrespect the memory of those who fought and died that day by using this image to make your petty and mistaken political point.— John King (@johnkingaustin) November 24, 2017
He's done more for America than you have. pic.twitter.com/Ujd93x47AU— Lori 🎁 (@seagal_lori) November 23, 2017
In wading through the various responses to her Tweet, it seemed evident that her post really got people going on both sides. It's kind of crazy to witness a full blown Twitter debate unfolding in real time, yet the circle-jerk that tends to follow this brand of provocative posts is like the snake eating its own tail - doomed to continue on, ad infinitum, with neither side altering the perception of the other. Essentially, it's pretty much the definition of what the increasingly strained relationship between Liberals vs Conservatives in 2017.
There is, however, an underlying irony at work here. By clowning on Tomi, you're giving her exactly what she wants - publicity and attention. Like the infamous Heels in the WWE or NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, these types get off on playing the villain. Conversely, by relentlessly targeting Colin Kaepernick, Tomi is imbuing him with more power than ever before, building up his legacy and affirming his importance, influence, and impact on society; like Obi Wan Kenobi told Darth Vader, "if you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine." Well, lo and behold.