JEFF PEARLMAN

Coming October 2022: "The Last Folk Hero: The Life and Myth of Bo Jackson"

On Tatiana Ibrahim.

Dear Tatiana:

First off, your name isn’t “Tatiana.” It’s Tanya.

I just wanted to make you aware of that, in case you forgot. You’re Tanya. You’ve been going by Tatiana for, what, a month now? Six weeks? Half a year? It sounds real classy. Stick with it.

Second, you’re full of garbage. I don’t mean to be harsh, so maybe garbage is the wrong word. But, no—I’ll stick with it. Because you’re so insanely full of it. So before we get to the pure sinister nature of your ways and methodologies, let’s break down the garbage. Your name isn’t Tatiana. You’re not from Putnam County, N.Y. Your LinkedIn page is nonsense—you’re not a “government relations professional.” Unless you go by a totally different name, you don’t work as a performance analyst for Wells Fargo (I checked). Unless you go by a totally different name, you don’t work as an analyst for the Department of Defense (I also checked). You’re now using your third name—Tanya Esposito, Tanya Brahimi and Tatiana Brahimi. I checked all three—neither Wells Fargo nor the DOD appear to have record of your present employment. Oh, you also list Mercy College as your place of education. I have a call in as well—is there a degree? Or did you merely walk the campus and piss on a kid wearing an Obama shirt?

Actually, one more thing about your LinkedIn page. It’s weird—usually when people give endorsements for your skills, they’re from co-workers. Like, a journalist would have editors endorsing him. A designer would have designers endorsing him. You have five people endorse you …

None have a thing to do with Wells Fargo or the DOD.

Wacky.

You have a new website—mazel tov (that means congratulations in the language of my people). On the website, you solicit donations. You don’t actually say who manages the money, or how it’s spent, or where it goes, or whether the donations are tax deductible. Just a thought—that shit matters.

Wait, back to your identity, Tatiana Tanya.

According to documents, you have an ongoing lawsuit. That must be fun. Here’s the link. A debt collector is coming after you. Fuck. That sucks.

Also found these. This is you, right? [I extended the courtesy of blocking out your addresses—something I’m pretty certain you wouldn’t have done were the tables turned]. Maybe it’s not you. Because to quote you from this video: “If you follow the law, and do as you’re supposed to, you won’t have a problem.” So … um …

Oh, and your husband was arrested. Also sucks. Big bummer. Curious: Did the officer keep a knee on Vilson’s neck for 7 minutes and 46 seconds? I’m asking for a friend, Tatiana Tanya.

I usually don’t do this, Tatiana Tanya. I usually leave stuff alone. But your new thing seems to be destroying people. Or at least trying to destroy people. Good people who—at absolute worst—you disagree with on certain issues. Teachers. School administrators. Hardly folks making the big bucks. And while I haven’t lived in Putnam County since graduating from Mahopac High in 1990, it remains a part of me. The good and the bad. The highs and the lows. The positives and the negatives. And you, Tatiana Tanya—you remind me of the worst of the worst of the worst. You remind me of the time my best friend, one of two African-American kids in my grade, had a pair of crosses burned in his front yard. You remind me of the petition passed around a nearby street to keep a black family out. You remind me of all the people who dropped “f-g” and “homo”; all the people who described someone’s thriftiness as “Jewin’ you down.” You remind me of the junior high school teacher who taught us that (ha ha) blacks can’t ski; and that there are jokes to be made about Jews burning in the oven …

Wait. Another digression. This is from your Instagram feed, right Tatiana Tanya?

No need to answer, Tatiana Tanya. It is.

[Side note: My great grandmother was exterminated in Auschwitz. F— you.]

A few weeks ago, my family and I watched in horror as you stood before the Carmel school board and lathered in your own jarring stupidity and ignorance (It all went downhill when you shouted about paying their salaries—only to learn it’s a volunteer board). It was, truly, a performance straight out of the MAGA Guide To Flailing About—one accusation after another; one rant after another (I particularly love, “You created a curriculum of Black Panther indoctrination!”). No facts. No studies. Just—Tatiana Tanya. Being Tatiana Tanya. And the video went viral, because—of course—it’s 2021, and in this age of vaccines-are-evil and fake news and punch-the-libs-in-the-face, the last thing people want is thoughtfulness and nuance.

And I thought, “Well, that blows. But … hey. Shit happens.”

Then I saw your new video. The one where you drag in your poor friend—a Yorktown, N.Y. resident named Holly Beloff-Davis who looks like she’d rather milk a rabid emu than stand by your side. And in her day-to-day existence, ol’ Holly is a recruiter at Medical Staffing Network. She’s a mom, a wife. Also a parent in the Yorktown School District. At some point, I’m guessing, Holly told you about a guidance counselor who seems to support Black Lives Matter. And in the normal world … the sane world, what a concerned parent like Holly does is (wait for it) make an appointment, either with the principal or the guidance counselor in question. They sit down, they talk. Holly expresses herself in sane tones—“I’m just worried about some of the things I’m hearing.” And then she gets a reply from the principal and/or the guidance counselor. And they agree or disagree, but as reasonable adults. That’s how these things are meant to go.

But no.

No.

No.

No.

Tatiana Tanya isn’t here for reason. She’s got her camera, she’s got her new legion of Twitter, Instagram and Facebook followers, she’s got her eyebrows all on fleek and she’s got a head full of steam. So Holly telling her story isn’t enough—she needs to name the guidance counselor. Just put it out there for an increasingly triggered and antagonized following (of white people who feel like they’re losing their country) to go after.

So Holly (who you dragged into this mess, Tatiana Tanya) does. His name is Daks Armstrong. He’s this guy.

And to read about Daks Armstrong is to want your kids to be like Daks Armstrong. Undergraduate degrees in psychology and sociology, graduate degrees in counseling and psychology. Years working in non-profit and as a community organizer. A speaker at the March for Civil Justice. Co-chair of the Yorktown Central School District Cultural Awareness and Equity Task Force. All things that any homo sapien with a fully functioning head would admire.

And, I was thinking: Daks Armstrong seems like the type of dude who would talk with you, Tatiana Tanya. Like, I bet if you had called and said, “Can we grab some coffee and chat?”—he would have grabbed some coffee to chat. But, no. You don’t do that sort of thing. Anyone who disagrees is, to quote Tatiana Tanya, “evil people.” You put folks on blast. You like the buzz of it all, right, Tatiana Tanya? It’s called “red light fever”—an old TV term to describe when one gets a taste of the spotlight and treats it like that first line of coke. Newsmax showed your talk! Rudy Giuliani discussed it with you! Until recently, you were just some middle-aged lady named Tanya with sweet eyebrows. But, now—damn. You’re Tatiana, slayer of the Critical Race Theory Nazis.

Sniff, sniff.

It’s friggin’ awesome!

But here’s what strikes me. Well, one of a few things that strikes me: You don’t actually seem to know what Critical Race Theory is. Like, you keep saying it’s the teaching of hating white people. Which, eh, it’s not. But … every … single … time … you … bring … CRT … up, you mangle it. Badly. I keep waiting for someone to say, formally and with you behind a podium, “Mrs. Ibrahim, what is Critical Race Theory?” Then watch you flail around like a drunk oxen barking about “white hate” and discrimination and the TV show Alf (which, for the record, was great).

By the way, here’s a pretty solid CRT breakdown. Not quite the Dracula you make it out to be, Tatiana Tanya …

Oh, the other thing. You’re #MAGA. Like, not half #MAGA. All-in #MAGA. I’ve seen your pictures, and they’re … eh, something. Here’s a quick Instagram peek …

So, since this is you and standing up for righteousness is your life’s mission, I’ll throw a few questions out there. Take your time answering …

  1. The January 6 siege on the U.S. Capitol—the one where dozens of Capitol police were injured and a vast majority of those storming the were wearing #MAGA and Trump gear. You cool with that? Because I know you’re super pro-law enforcement. But you’ve said nothing, Tatiana Tanya.
  2. Donald Trump has now lied, repeatedly, about helping at Ground Zero after the Trade Center fell. He lied about sending “100 of my men” to Ground Zero. He lied about donating $100,000 to the 9.11 Fund. You cool with that? Because I know you’re super pro-law enforcement. But you’ve said nothing, Tatiana Tanya.
  3. Donald Trump bragged about “grabbing women by the p-ssies.” Locker room talk. Ha ha, hee-hee. You have a daughter. You cool with that? Men grabbing women by the pussies?
  4. Your husband is Muslim. He came here from Yugoslavia. Donald Trump called for a ban on Muslims entering America. Then stoked Muslim hatred over. And over. And over. You cool with that? Or just weirdly self-loathing?
  5. This is the third time Donald Trump has said an election was/would be stolen from him. First—Ted Cruz, 2016 Iowa caucus. Second, Hillary in the leadup to the 2016 general. Third, Biden. So, like, are they all true? And is it weird that, beginning with George Washington’s presidency in 1789, Trump is the only executive in chief to accuse people of stealing elections from him? THREE different times?
  6. You seem pretty mean when it comes to LGBTQ issues. Is that a thing with you?
  7. Donald Trump mocked POWs for being captured—”I like people that weren’t captured” Here’s the video. You’re big into law enforcement. Right? You love the military? You cool with all that, sis?
  8. We’ve now had more than 600,000 Americans die of COVID, and people, well, like you keep saying the vaccinations are socialism liberal neo-Nazi … stuff. Where are you on this, Tatiana Tanya? Because clearly the kids are your first priority.

I can go on and on. For hours about this ignorant fraud. But I won’t. Because, come day’s end, there’s something profoundly sad about Tanya Ibrahim. Several years ago she lost a son in a tragic car accident—and, as a parent, that pain … it’s just unimaginable. And maybe, just maybe, that’s where this all stems from. This anger. This irrationality. This need to not merely disagree, but browbeat and hammer and humiliate folks like unpaid school board members and a guidance counselor who probably makes, I dunno, $60,000 annually. It’s as pathetic as it is infuriating, and I suspect one day this woman’s daughter, now a 15-year-old Carmel High student who must feel as if she’s offspring to the world’s all-time most-obnoxious sports parent, won’t look back in pride, but with tremendous shame.

And she’ll say to her African-American trans wife, “Black Lives Matter.”

PS: Imagine being so broken that a sign reading, “No humans are illegal” offends you …

PPS: I think my favorite Tatiana Tanya line, also from this video, refers to school teachers, who—she says—have the audacity of telling students, “If you’re not tolerant, you’re bad.”