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Whitlock: Michele Tafoya risked everything to start her own Freedom Convoy

Op-ed
Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Michele Tafoya quit America’s No. 1 TV show to help a black man win the governor’s office in Minnesota. She’ll soon be castigated as racist, misguided, and stupid.

That’s the state of this country’s corporate and social media-led racial discourse. The cost of choosing the wrong political team is your public reputation. Tafoya’s new boss, Kendall Qualls, is a Republican. And despite his black skin, black wife, and black children, Qualls is just another black face of white supremacy.

And, wait for it, that makes Tafoya a Proud Girl and a potential insurrectionist.

Tafoya exited NBC’s “Football Night in America,” where she was the show’s sideline reporter for 11 years, so she could comfortably express her political views, co-chair Qualls’ bid for governor, and fight the leftists rolling back this nation’s racial progress.

“This has been on my mind,” Tafoya told Fox News host Tucker Carlson last night. “I’ve been waking up every day with a palpable pull at my gut. My middle-ground, moderate viewpoint is not being represented to the rest of the world. And so rather than, you know, just banging it out on Twitter or Instagram every day, I thought, ‘I’ve got to do something.’ I have benefited greatly from the American dream, and I feel like for the sake of my kids and because I so love this country, I’ve got to start giving back.”

We all do. Too many of us have taken the spoils of American exceptionalism for granted. We have failed to protect the progress won by Dr. Martin Luther King’s generation. We’ve ignored President Kennedy’s plea to ponder what we can do for our country.

We’re entitled. We assume the racial discord festering in our society will go away. It won’t. Racial division is the primary power-retention strategy of the Democratic Party, Big Tech, and media elites. Tafoya walked away from a seven-figure job to join the fight to save America. On his campaign webpage, Qualls attacks the way Minnesota politicians handled the George Floyd aftermath, the “defund the police” movement, and the left’s race-bait strategy.

“Americans are tired of being bullied by the left and exhausted by constant accusations of systemic racism. In fact, this is the least racist period in our country’s history. My parents and grandparents would have loved to have grown up in the America I grew up in. We are not going to be the generation that lost America. We are going to be the generation that saved it, restored it and passed it onto the next generation.”

Michele Tafoya’s bold move is one of the most courageous acts I’ve ever seen from a high-profile celebrity. Let me repeat: She quit America’s most popular TV show to join a fight that will put her in the crosshairs of a global political movement that annihilates the reputations of its adversaries.

“I don’t care if I’m attacked,” Tafoya told Tucker Carlson. “I really am not afraid of that, and I guess I feel like so many people now are afraid. Yeah. And I’m not. Listen, I know there are repercussions for whatever I choose to say. And I’ve talked to my kids’ school about it. You know, please don’t hold this against my kids. I’m speaking for me. I’m speaking for my family. But please don’t hold this against my kids.”

The attacks started last night. Without a hint of irony or self-awareness, former ESPN host Jemele Hill tweeted:

“Imagine leaving a high-profile job over a made-up issue. Does Michele Tafoya even know what CRT is? Does she have kids in school being taught CRT? Can she provide any examples?”

Imagine being so clueless that you (Hill) can’t recognize Tafoya tapped into the same energy, emotion, and feeling that caused you (Hill) to leave ESPN to join the Trump resistance.

Hill has no idea that many people — black and white — believe framing Trump as a Hitler-like racist is a “made-up issue.” Hill has never been much of a journalist, but Tafoya stated her CRT case during a controversial interview on “The View” a month or two ago, and she repeated her case on Tucker Carlson Wednesday night.

Tafoya has kids in school who are being segregated and driven away from each other based on racial differences.

“It breaks my heart that my kids are being taught that skin color matters,” Tafoya told Carlson.

In an exchange with Whoopi Goldberg, Tafoya shared this story.

“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. ... There is a big, big focus on the color of your skin. Why are we even teaching that the color of skin matters? Because to me, what matters is your character and your values.”

You do not have to agree with Tafoya’s point of view. But anyone with a modicum of intelligence and honesty can make sense of her rationale and acknowledge the courage of what she’s doing.

Jemele Hill called President Trump a racist. Her comment did not jeopardize her reputation. She didn’t say anything remotely original. She was mostly celebrated for saying it. She’s been offered jobs and speaking engagements for unleashing an ad hominem attack. Hill gets mean tweets for being a Trump critic.

Tafoya must worry about how her kids will be treated at school. There’s a huge difference between Hill and Tafoya. One is an opportunist. The other is a patriot. One wants to promote racial division. The other wants to promote racial progress.

Michele Tafoya is fearless. Her obvious courage will be ridiculed, her reputation smeared. She’s a one-woman freedom convoy. Are you man or woman enough to join her?

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