politics

Behold: A shockingly insensitive response to the Syrian refugee crisis.

Conservative political commentator and television host Tomi Lahren is known for her controversial opinions.

She’s compared the Black Lives Matter movement to the Ku Klux Klan, expressed her frustration with African Americans and women thinking of themselves as ‘victims,’ launched a tirade on all those who planned to participate in the Women’s March, and proudly declared “feminists, you don’t speak for me and you never will.”

Lovely.

But in recent days, amidst Trump’s calls to restrict people from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States, Lahren’s ideas have moved back into the spotlight.

What’s terrifying is that views like Lahren’s – as underdeveloped and tone-deaf as they are – lay the foundation for the decisions Trump is making. He too is angry and vocal about issues he isn’t well-versed on, he too doesn’t show any political complexity. He too seems to think it’s far easier to stigmatise and criticise those who are angry about injustice, than to actually tackle injustice itself.

People are struggling to channel their frustrations and describe the monumental unfairness of Trump’s immigration policies, but then someone found this:

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You see, Lahren is ahead of the times. Two years ago she was telling us all that “Syrians run away,” while Americans “fight for faith, family and freedom.”

When one Twitter user decided to ‘fix’ Lahren’s tweet for her, others quickly followed.

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Predictably, Twitter exploded with conversations about Lahren and her views.

This particular image, paired with this particular quote, at this particular time, really struck a cord online. And it’s likely because Lahren, like Trump, stands so remarkably far away from the atrocities occurring in Syria. From a glossy photo, showcasing her white, blonde, educated persona, comes a powerful comment about an issue she has never, and likely will never, know.

There is a horrific war taking place – so violent many of us couldn’t imagine it if we tried. Cities have been destroyed. Families have been torn apart. How can you “fight for freedom” when you don’t even know what such a thing looks like?

When we’re all feeling so sickeningly helpless, it seems all we can do is challenge the very ideas that lead us to cruel and insensitive policies. Even if we’re only doing it from behind the safety of our keyboards.

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