It’s been an interesting endeavour being on a true-blue social network for the first time ever. After what feels like an entire lifetime of skimming through newspapers and glimpsing at bits of news on the log-out page of Yahoo! Mail, to have my news be filtered and aptly curated for me in a neatly presented, nigh infinitely scrollable webpage through the lens of my known associates’ biases feels, well, somewhat disturbing, to say the least.
A lot of hoopla has been made about a recent plague of fake news that’s been going around these parts. Apparently, it’s what led to Britain calling it quits from the European Union and made way for an overstuffed scarecrow to occupy the chair of the president of the United States of America (soon anyway).
The term “fake news” doesn’t really make much sense, if you ask me. I mean, we read what we want to know, and, more than wanting to know “the truth,” we mostly read the news to have our own biases confirmed. I’ve definitely been guilty of it, and, chances are, so have you. So why put any further labels on it?
But I digress.
This issue was more than astutely tackled by my friend and colleague SN Rasul in his op-ed “An apology for the devil,” which I encourage you to look up if you haven’t already. I’m here to talk about everything that is wrong with the Western Left today as represented by the bungled hit-job that was the interview of a relatively unknown young American conservative voice named Tomi Lahren in Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Trevor Noah.
And boy, what a bungle it was.
Scrolling through biases
“Trevor Noah Eviscerates a Right-Winger,” “Trevor Noah Schools Young White Conservative on How Black Lives Matter,” “America’s One True Lord and Saviour Trevor Noah Puts an End to the Racism Debate in this 30-Minute Interview” is all I’ve been seeing for the last few days whenever I opened Microsoft Edge (go ahead, judge me).
Likes and positive reactions to such articles on this particular interview were getting cheaper by the dozen around Facebook and Twitter. So, driven by my new-found fear of missing out, I decided to give it a watch, despite my relative indifference to the topics which it touched upon.
While I definitely felt my face cringe more often than it should have while watching the interview, it was hardly caused by any “evisceration” on the part of Noah.
No, what made me uncomfortable was the sense of self-satisfaction and smugness that the gracious host exuded in an interview-turned-debate that, initially, had no clear winner or loser -- and this delusional smugness is exactly what lies at the heart of the “progressive” Left, Western or otherwise.
‘I don’t see colour’
I won’t pretend to be an expert on America’s race politics or what movements such as Black Lives Matter are trying to achieve -- insert something about us having problems of our own -- but I’m well aware of America’s checkered past when it comes to the issue of race.
Slavery was a thing, now it’s not. African-Americans have as much autonomy as any other race, but there are still individuals (not enough emphasis can be placed on this specific word) who hold deeply racist worldviews within the American society. And I think that’s about it.
The general consensus among viewers seems to be that Trevor Noah ‘taught’ a little girl things she has been unable to see in the brief time that she has been talking politics in her privileged conservative bubble. But I don’t know what show everyone else watched
But, then again, you have extreme left-leaning pseudo-Marxists who believe “everything is sexist, everything is racist, everything is homophobic, and you have to point it all out to everyone all the time.” And if you’re wondering why I put that last line in quotes, they are the infamous words of one Anita Sarkeesian. Look her up. Have a laugh. You deserve it for making it this far.
So, when someone like Tomi, a white American conservative, says “I don’t see colour,” and someone like Trevor, a mixed-race South African progressive, flippantly scoffs it off saying “so what do you do at traffic lights?” (an incredibly moronic attempt at humour, I might add) know that it’s the “progressive” one of the two that represents the “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” mentality that the Western Left has adopted as one of their guiding principles.
‘Your side has won’
Brexit happened, Trump won, and chances are we’ll soon be hearing the names “Marine Le Pen” and “Geert Wilders” be mentioned in the same breath as well.
There’s very little doubt left that the world has taken something of a detour from its charted course towards social progress. But we all know what caused this deviation.
The Left, of course.
By completely alienating an entire segment of their own society -- a segment that has long been made to think that they are in the wrong and forever will be -- it’s the Left that is to blame for a complete ignoramus such as Donald Trump to currently circle the White House like a toupee'd vulture.
The God Complex that media personalities like Trevor Noah have enjoyed throughout nearly a year of constantly haranguing Trump supporters for their poor judgment is what turned off blue-collar Americans who mostly just care if there will be enough space in their own damn country for them to get a square meal.
And that complex was in full effect in Trevor’s condescension towards Tomi Lahren.
The general consensus among viewers seems to be that Trevor Noah “taught” a little girl (she’s two years younger than me, I have the license) things she has been unable to see in the brief time that she has been talking politics in her privileged conservative bubble.
But I don’t know what show everyone else watched, because, to me, it seemed the other way around, if anything.
And no more was that evident than in Noah’s clear concession near the end when he exasperatedly uttered “you’ve won.”
Which is, of course, wrong.
She didn’t win, Noah. You lost.
Rubaiyat Kabir is a Sub-Editor at the Dhaka Tribune. Follow him on Twitter at @moreanik.