She visited Minneapolis, went to a restaurant with her mother, and someone threw the contents of a glass of water at her. It’s the kinder, gentler version of Nazi-punching. And now I’m all confused.
Does Tomi Lahren deserve public scorn and opprobrium? Yes. She’s a horrible person profiting off the dissemination of hate and ignorance. I can’t get worked up about somebody dousing her with water…but at the same time, it would also be legit to arrest and fine the water flinger for assault (likewise, the guy who punched Richard Spencer did commit a crime). You take action, you take responsibility for the action.
But also, I recognize my own inconsistency. It’s one thing for someone to punch Richard Spencer, a male Nazi, but I’d be extremely uncomfortable if someone were to punch Tomi Lahren, his female equivalent. Part of it is the unfounded expectation that a man is supposed to be able to defend himself, while a woman is not. Part of it is the optics: it looks bad for anti-Nazis to be punching down on women (but that it’s even “punching down” to hit a woman is problematic). If you watch the video at the link, you’ll also hear someone shouting misogynistic slurs at Lahren — I don’t want that guy on my side, either.
In my perfect world, people who preach hate wouldn’t have a platform or an audience because no one would want to listen to them, and they’d wither away into irrelevance. In this far from perfect world, we have to struggle with appropriate responses to destructive ideas that rise to popularity in imperfect ways.