WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2022
...blew past what Tayofa had said: We'll admit it—we're intrigued by what Michele Tafoya said.
She said it when she appeared on The View. She appeared on the program last November 2, on Election Day no less.
Tafoya was nearing the end of a long career as a reporter for NBC Sports. Her comment concerned her children's schools. As we noted yesterday, this is what she said:
TAFOYA (11/2/22): My kids in school—there is a big, big focus on the color of your skin.
INTERJECTION: How old are your children?
TAFOYA: My children are now 16 and 13—
INTERJECTION: In what way?
TAFOYA: It's been going on since they were in lower school, all right? And it is that there are affinity groups on campus for each—
My son's first best friend was a little African-American boy. They were inseparable. Get to a certain age, they start having what's called an "affinity group," which means you go for lunch and pizza with people who look like you. Suddenly, my son wasn't hanging out with him any more.
His next best friend was a little Korean boy. Years, inseparable. He started going to his affinity groups.
Why are we even teaching that the color of the skin matters? Because to me, what matters is your character and your values.
We didn't see these remarks in real time. But after Tafoya guested with Tucker Carlson last week, her remarks occasioned a fair amount of comment. It's much as Chekhov put it:
"The appearance on the front of a new arrival—a lady with a lap-dog—became the topic of general conversation."
After appearing with Carlson last week, Tafoya's remarks about her children's schools became the topic of general conversation. As the conversation swirled, we watched the tape from her earlier appearance on The View. Once again, we're prepared to confess:
We're interested in her (fleeting) remarks about her children's schools.
For what it's worth, Tafoya is one of The Others. Back in 2015, she described herself, in this Sports Illustrated profile, as a “pro-choice conservative"—as "a conservative person" with "some definite libertarian strains."
For the record, you're allowed to be a conservative person with libertarian strains. And sure enough:
Having left her job with NBC Sports, Tafoya is now an official on the Minnesota gubernatorial campaign of Kenneth Qualls—and Qualls is a Republican.
In spite of these distinguishing characteristics, we retain our curiosity about Tafoya's fleeting remarks about her children's schools.
On the one hand, we're interested in the kinds of experiences children have in their schools. Then too, there's the unfortunate politics which can emerge in the face of practices which might seem to be "left-leaning schooling gone wild."
What the heck is going on in the Tafoya kids' schools? According to Tafoya, the schools operate some sort of "affinity groups." Apparently, membership in these groups is determined on the basis of ethnicity and race.
Tafoya seems to think that these affinity groups are a bad idea. She seems to feel that the groups are driving different groups of kids farther apart.
For the record, we have no idea if that impression is accurate. In Tafoya's view, the practice is teaching kids "that the color of [their] skin matters."
Could it be that something is wrong with this particular practice? As we noted yesterday, Tafoya's kids may be enrolled in the Edina, Minnesota Public Schools, a system which initiated a type of social justice program ("All for All") back in 2013.
Assuming that its motives are pure, how good is that school district's judgment? Everyone can make mistakes, and some mistakes can produce blowback at the polls, as the nation recently saw in the San Francisco school board recall vote.
Is Edina showing good judgment in the operation of its "All for All" program? We don't have the slightest idea, in part because Whoopi Goldberg broke in on Tafoya and offered this retort:
GOLDBERG (continuing directly): Yes, but you know—you live in the United States. You know that color of skin has been mattering to people for years.
The conversation, such as it was, continued along from there. It was one of the most useless non-conversation "conservations" we've ever seen—and it wasn't even part of our "cable news!"
Tomorrow, we'll show you where the discussion, such as it was, actually went from there. Many monologues were delivered before Tafoya spoke again.
On Friday, we'll show you some of the punditry which resulted from Tafoya's appearance on Carlson's program last week, where she stated her same general view about those "affinity groups." For now, we'll only say this:
We still don't know where Tafoya's children go to school. We've seen no one ask her to speak in more detail about those affinity groups.
As for what happened on The View, we'll offer this spoiler:
Tafoya was making a specific type of claim in the passage we've posted. The View's panel of pundits proceeded to take turns refuting an array of claims which she hadn't made.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but our public discourse concerning "the news" is largely a long rolling joke. Even on the highest levels, our journalists seem to lack even the most elementary skills.
On Olympus, the gods lounge and laugh. We're told that the so-called "journalism of race" is one of these deities' favorites.
Our nation's TV offerings were "a vast wasteland," Newton Minow once famously said. Can any sane person possibly say that his assessment no longer obtains?
Tomorrow: Reply with the scripts what brung ya