Now-former NBC Sports reporter Michele Tafoya has recently left the world of Sunday Night Football with big plans to enter the political arena. According to the New York Post, she’s “co-chairing the Minnesota gubernatorial campaign of Republican candidate Kendall Qualls.” In an interview with Fox News host and sexy M&M harasser Tucker Carlson, she described herself as someone with a “middle-ground moderate viewpoint,” but that’s not who she is. Tafoya is a white woman with a white viewpoint who is joining an infinite chorus line of white conservatives who are denouncing critical race theory without having a clue what CRT is.
Here’s what Tafoya had to say on the subject of race, which she says doesn’t matter—and yet here we are:
“Why are we even teaching that the color of your skin matters?” Tafoya asked. “To me what matters is the character in your heart and your values.”
“I’m just astonished that we’re so looking in the rear-view mirror and not absorbing the progress that we’ve made in this country, and building on it, and recognizing it,” she continued. “I don’t think a person like Whoopi Goldberg would have had that role [on ‘The View’] 50 years ago. She has that now. It breaks my heart that kids are being taught that skin color matters. To me, if you want white people to step up, I was stepping up when I addressed the school and said, ‘Why are we having these picnics for families of color? Why are we separating our kids? The world is integrated. Let’s continue that and find out what we all have in common, not just what we have in common for people who look like us.’”
Now here’s an open letter to Tafoya about CRT, the power of whiteness, and why she doesn’t know WTF she’s talking about:
Dear Michele Tafoya,
You are white. And because you are white it’s convenient for you to say “the past is the past” and it’s time to move on. Because that past, for centuries and generations, benefitted white people at the expense of Black people and because cause and effect is a thing, Black people and people of color are still struggling to catch up in a race on a track whiteness has been running laps around since America’s “discovery.”
Your rose-colored viewpoint that says racism is over won’t stop police from disproportionately profiling, harassing, jailing, and killing Black people. It won’t change redlining or anti-Black discrimination in the housing and job markets. It won’t stop Black children from facing harsher discipline in schools than their white peers who commit the same infractions. It won’t change the fact that white people enjoy generational wealth far more than Black people do and that they represent the fewest citizens per capita living below the poverty line.
Whiteness represents the default for social and cultural normalcy in America. It’s why, despite Black people existing on TV nowadays (I mean, you really cited Whoopi hosting the view as proof of post-racial America, huh?), white people have been overwhelmingly represented in nearly every aspect of our popular culture from TV and film to broadcasting and celebrated literature. And if you think this is all by happenstance or merit—if you think meritocracy or some big coincidence is why the historically oppressive racial class dominate the corporate and political world while the historically oppressed people remain disproportionately poor and under-represented in this country’s power structure—it’s because you inherently believe one race is superior over others. It’s because you’re racist.
Here’s a question: When you decided, based on your experience as a white woman, that skin color no longer matters in America, how many Black Americans did you consult?
You complained in your interview with Carlson about “affinity groups,” which “separate races into different discussion groups, are common in anti-racism training modules,” as the Post reported. Did it ever occur to you that the reason some people think having separated racial groups for discussions on racism is beneficial is because white people like yourself are typically dismissive, obtuse, and frustratingly oblivious when it comes to systemic racism and social privilege?
I mean, here’s you deciding, in all your infinite white wisdom, that you know more about Colin Kaepernick‘s reasons for his NFL departure than he does.
Right now, the very political party you’ve aligned yourself with is on a mission to hang critical race theory from a tree branch without knowing what CRT is. They’ve used it as an umbrella term for anything race-based that makes white people uncomfortable, and now literal laws are being signed to placate white fragility at the expense of anyone else who wants to learn a true telling of America’s history unencumbered by the withe tears that whitewash it.
CRT is an academic study—developed in the 1980s based on research that dates back to the late ’60s—that examines how laws and systems uphold and perpetuate inequality for marginalized racial groups. It’s a study on how race affects systems that have been in place since America’s founding—a time when Black people were legally held as property and as second-class citizens.
White people like yourself and those of your party have hijacked the term to mean whatever you want it to mean. It isn’t being taught in K-12 schools, but people like you, who discovered it decades after its conception, demonstrate why the study is necessary.
Post-racial America is a lie that benefits the status quo, which is to say it benefits whiteness and whiteness alone.
You’d see that if you weren’t so damn white.