Earlier this week, Charlamagne Tha God, host of MTV's "Uncommon Sense," perfectly shut down conservative host Tomi Lahren, who had taken aim at Beyonce's Super Bowl 50 halftime performance. Lahren called the singer's set a salute to the revolutionary-minded Black Panthers, a group she compared to the Ku Klux Klan, among other claims. You can watch the spirited debate online, but "The Breakfast Club" host -- not content with making the BeyHive proud -- had some more thoughtful gems about his headline-making conversation with the Blaze TV personality. Here, Charlamagne in his own words:
I don't believe Tomi Lahren is a racist -- she is simply misinformed and this is why conversation is so important. A lot of people looked at this video of Tomi and I as a debate but I didn't. I looked at it as an opportunity to teach and an opportunity for me to learn. I like to know what a person said, but even more than that, I like to understand why they said it.
The majority of the time people aren't trying to be offensive, they are just speaking what they think is the truth because that's what they have been taught. Can you be upset that Tomi Lahren thinks Malcolm X and the Black Panthers were terrorists? You absolutely can but it would upset me more if I didn't share the correct information through conversation with Tomi.
I didn't know Tomi when I gave her "Donkey of the Day" on my morning radio show, [Power 105.1's] "The Breakfast Club." I just knew that I didn't like her views of Beyoncé's halftime show so I decided to combat them via my platform. When she invited me on her show, I took her up on the offer because I'm always down to have a good conversation and communication is what we need as a culture in order for us to grow.
There are too many of us assuming things about each other when the truth is none of us really know what the other is about. If we don't talk and discuss things we will never truly know each other. I'm not for stereotyping and generalizing when I can just have the conversation with someone and find out for myself. Don't think for a second Tomi and I didn't learn from each other because I saw her tweet out "Pro-black doesn't mean anti white" (which is something I told her) and she added this -- which I totally agree with -- "But a white person can be critical of a black person without a racist motivation."
Yes, not just white and black but people -- period -- can be critical of each other without any malicious motivation. Being critical of a person is simply saying, I don't understand what they are doing and I would like to know what the hell they mean by that. Maybe we should stop being so critical and start being more inquisitive. Instead of making statements about each other, let's ask more questions.
Instead of making assumptions:
Tomi should have asked, "Why did Beyoncé choose to salute the Black Panthers at the Super Bowl halftime show?" or "Were the Black Panthers a terrorist group?" Only by asking questions do you avoid misunderstandings and this is how you improve relations with your fellow human beings.
We all do too much assuming about each other and we think that something is either one thing or another and this is simply not true. There are always more than two sides. Not everything is black or white: There is a vast gray area, and when you start having conversations with people on opposing sides through an objective lens you will realize that.
Always remain open, be willing to learn, and be receptive to new information. Even if you agree to disagree, just be willing to have the conversation like Tomi Lahren and Charlamagne Tha God did. (P.S., I love talking about myself in the third person.)