Tomi Lahren: Trevor Noah challenges anti-Black Lives Matter commentator on claim she doesn't 'see colour'

'What do you do at traffic lights?'

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The Independent Online

Trevor Noah has used humour to expose the ugliness of the presidential campaign and poke fun at the ideology championed by America’s new President-elect, Donald Trump. As such, Mr Trump’s unsubstantiated soundbites were regularly debunked in parodies on The Daily Show and other satirical news programmes. 

But dismissing or ridiculing right-wing proponents was a move conservative commentators and Mr Trump jumped on to show how little the political elite and liberals apparently cared about regular people. The new strategy, it seems, is to engage, so rising Republican star Tomi Lahren was invited as a guest on the show. 

The steely right-wing commentator is best known for her viral rants on The Blaze, which are watched by millions on her Facebook page. Aged just 24, the South Dakota native's videos are often watched more than Mr Trump's. 

Lahren, who counts Katie Hopkins among her fans, has repeatedly attacked American football player Colin Kaepernick for protesting racial injustice in America by refusing to kneel during the national anthem. “Colin, how dare you sit there and blame white people for the problems in minority communities,” she said in one of her most popular monologues to date. “After all, aren’t you half white?” This video was watched 65 million times. 

In an attempt to better understand her motivations, Noah asked why, for someone who purports not to be a racist, “you have to spend a lot of time saying, ‘I’m not racist’?”

“I wish that we could disagree with each other without thinking that we are bad people or ill-intentioned folks," she replied. "So because I criticise a black person or I criticise the Black Lives Matter movement, that doesn’t mean I’m anti-black. It does not mean that I don’t like black people or that I am a racist, it means I’m criticising a movement."

“To me, true diversity is diversity of thought, not diversity of colour. I don’t see colour,” she added, to gasps from the audience. 

Noah's comeback was quick: “You don’t see colour? So, what do you do at traffic lights?”

“I don’t believe in that at all when people say that,” he continued. “There is nothing wrong with seeing colour, it’s how you treat colour. 

“Black Lives Matter cannot be the new KKK - the KKK is still around. They have not vacated their premises. And, most importantly, to say Black Lives Matter is the new KKK is to really minimise what the KKK did and what they stand for. That is not the same thing.”

Lahren’s tirades often include provocative one-liners and shouted rhetorical questions such as, “please tell me, in what way are black Americans not equal?” Noah perhaps summarised Lahren best: “The least woke most awake person I have ever seen.”

At one point during their discussion and without being provoked, Lahren suddenly asked: “Because I’m white, I should shut up? I shouldn’t be able to talk about black issues because I’m white?”

“No one brought up whites at all, I never said that,” Noah replied. “I don’t see colour.”