In Defense of Michele Tafoya

by Gary Fouse

Up to this week, my only exposure to Michele Tafoya had been watching her on the sidelines of NFL games on NBC. To be honest, I’ve never cared for this aspect of football games on TV because they basically consist of, “I talked to coach so, and so, and he said….” I think they add very little to the game other than giving the viewer updates on injuries. To be fair, interviews with players and coaches are seldom very enlightening under any circumstances.

This week, however, I saw Tafoya’s interview with Tucker Carlson on Fox where she discussed why she was stepping away from sports and getting involved in other issues that are more important. She spoke about her children being taught in school that race matters in that “people of color” are automatically victims while white people are automatically oppressors, something she definitely does not consider her children to be. She spoke eloquently of her child’s best friend, who was black. They were “inseparable”-until the school separated the children into racial “affinity” groups.

I have to tell you I came away very impressed by Michele Tafoya. She spoke with no hate, only sadness and the belief that whites are not the enemy of non-whites. She did make a comment that whites have worked to bring about equality since the Civil War….(I am paraphrasing). I would have amended that to say since the Civil Rights era of the 1960s, but no matter. I happen to share her belief that most whites are well-intentioned in racial matters.

Now comes this op-ed from Shalise Manza Young of Yahoo Sports, attacking Tafoya for her comments and implying that Tafoya is a racist to some degree. Here is the op-ed, which also includes the video clip of the Fox interview with Tucker Carlson.

As for Yahoo Sports, I periodically get blurbs from them via Facebook, and they are uniformly politically correct. In that vein, sports talk shows are also politically correct, including racial matters. Many of the commentators are African-American, which is entirely proper since African-Americans are so well represented in sports like football and basketball. It wouldn’t make a lot of sense for white and black commentators to be arguing about race on sports shows from different points of view since it is such an emotionally charged issue.  Thus, any criticism of Colin Kaepernick (who is mentioned in Young’s article) is generally left to non-sports venues.

I have a sense that the Tafoya story is just beginning. My impression of her is that of a decent, nice lady who is very sad that schools are dividing children by race-not just physically by having separate events for them, but by what they are teaching children of all races about race itself. Tafoya has shown remarkable courage by standing up to her children’s school, especially already being a public figure, and by going on Carlson’s show. Sure enough, she is now being attacked-viciously, I might add. Hopefully, the black athletes and colleagues she worked with will come to her defense. Surely, they know very well that she is no racist.

What Tafoya is arguing for is integration, friendship, and unity while her enemies are arguing for segregation, mistrust, and division. This is at the crux of all the controversy going on today across the nation. You see it in Black Lives Matter. You see it on the far left. You see it in Democrat politics. You see it in academia and all the ethnic studies departments in our universities. They are all about division.

Ironically, the best rebuttal to Young’s op-ed attacking Tafoya is the video of the Carlson interview itself, which Yahoo posted with the op-ed. Just what are Tafoya’s “ugly truths”? That she regrets her son lost his best friend? Is it an “ugly truth” that Tafoya is against separating people based on skin color? Is it an “ugly truth” that Tafoya loves her country as she expressed to Carlson? Is it an “ugly truth” that Tafoya identifies with the political middle? Is it an “ugly truth” that Tafoya laments that people are afraid to talk to each other?

Shalise Manza Young and Yahoo Sports should be ashamed of themselves for this vicious and unfair attack on Tafoya just because she doesn’t toe the politically-correct line. They say more about themselves than they ever could about Tafoya.

And I hope Fox News hires Michele Tafoya asap.



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