I’m a few days behind on this one, but only because I needed to process the jarring audacity of Elise Stefanik, Republican congresswoman from New York/GOP conference chair, deciding the best play for her party would be to blame (wait for it) Nancy Pelosi for the Jan. 6 Capitol siege.
Here. Take a look …
I’ve been thinking about this one—a lot. In the aftermath of the attack, there were plenty of people to blame. Trump, obviously. But also Mo Brooks, and Jim Jordan, and the dude with the horns. You could blame society, you could blame violent television, you could blame Satan, Natalie Portman, the number 6, the Keebler Elf, former Twins outfielder Hosken Powell. Seriously, there was a limitless supply of folks for Stefanik to go after.
But … nope. The congressman went after a woman whose office was attacked; whose staffers were hiding beneath desks; who was the target of people cruising the hallways with nooses while asking, loudly, “Where’s Nancy? Wheeeere’s Nancy?”
This is who Elise Stafanik went after.
I seriously can’t even digest it. I know politics are rough and tumble and cruel. I know Nancy Pelosi equals big fundraising dough for the Republicans. But last I checked, not one Capitol infiltrator was spotted wearing a PELOSI IS THE BEST cap or carrying a NANCY PELOSI/JIM FREGOSI 2024 sign. Again, these people wanted her dead—and had they found her, I have little doubt we in the media would have been busy typing Nancy Pelosi obituaries and front-page news pieces with headlines akin to, NANCY PELOSI, HOUSE LEADER, MURDERED VIA HANGING.
Of this, I’m not joking.
Hell, it turns out even Stefanik’s bullshit reasoning is wrong. She says this is on Pelosi because the house leader was responsible for Capitol security. This, of course, is a lie—and has now been debunked about 765 times.
As we speak, Elise Stefanik is pregnant. One day, not all that long from now, her child will ask about the days before his/her birth; will ask what was going on in the world and why Mommy is in all those old photographs.
If you’ve read this blog of late, you know I’ve written a fair amount about Tanya Esposito•Tatiana Ibrahim •Tanya Brahimi•MC Mellie Slick, the Carmel, N.Y.-based mother who is my home region’s face and voice and mouth of Critical Race Theory resistance.
Now, she’s jumping into a slightly different arena—deciding which books are OK for children to read …
And, on the one hand, I admire Tanya Esposito•Tatiana Ibrahim •Tanya Brahimi•MC Mellie Slick’s devotion to the triple exclamation mark. It’s bold, it’s creative, it screams I’M YELLING!!! LISTEN TO ME!!! I’M A BOT!!! WHITE POWER!!! STILL YELLING!!! And yet, I’m also a bit bewildered. I mean, if you’re going to back someone’s judgement on, oh, literary endeavors, shouldn’t that person (at the bare minimum) know how to spell and punctuate? Shouldn’t you know the difference between “then” and “than”; between spaces and commas? Shouldn’t that person grasp the correct usage of the word “entices”?
Call me a skeptic, but I sorta kinda definitely doubt Tanya Esposito•Tatiana Ibrahim •Tanya Brahimi•MC Mellie Slick has ever read “The Hate U Give.” One, because it’s 444 pages, which is about 150 stacked issues of The National Enquirer. Two, because it’s not illustrated. And three, because it’s not anti-police. It’s actually one of the best books I’ve ever read, and an insanely important here’s-what-the-world-looks-like document for the geographically sheltered kids of Putnam County, N.Y.
And, really, that’s the greatest harm being committed by amateur dolts like Tanya Esposito•Tatiana Ibrahim •Tanya Brahimi•MC Mellie Slick. Because she’s a sheltered half-baked ham with on fleek eyebrows and an IQ of seven (OK, OK—five), she doesn’t realize that the kids growing up in towns like Carmel and Mahopac and Brewster need access to diversity; that it’s not enough to watch a Will Smith film and call it a day. You can be a #MAGA lemming like Tanya Esposito•Tatiana Ibrahim •Tanya Brahimi•MC Mellie Slick and still (I suppose) acknowledge that once your daughter graduates high school, she’ll encounter people from myriad countries, religions, races, creeds. And that—even if you disagree with them—it’s important to at least understand whereof they speak.
Not to get all Me-Me-Me, but one of the greatest things to happen to me as a kid was Jonathan Powell, my boyhood friend, introducing the music of Public Enemy. My first favorite song was a little Tanya Esposito•Tatiana Ibrahim •Tanya Brahimi•MC Mellie Slick ditty called, “Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos,” about a prison riot involving black inmates and white guards and a racist governmental system. It’s powerful and intense and fucking jamming—and at no time during or after listening to it was I inspired to start a prison riot. See, that’s the bullshit about people like Tanya Esposito•Tatiana Ibrahim •Tanya Brahimi•MC Mellie Slick. They’re terrified of their kids—in “Truman Show” speak—seeing what awaits beyond the bubble. So they cocoon their sons and daughters by turning everything into an Us v. Them jamboree. They (in this case—educators, liberals, black people) want to change things. They want to infringe. They are trying to brainwash our precious little ones, and we won’t let them.
Only, exposure isn’t brainwashing. It’s exposure. You can read, say, “The Autobiography of Malcolm X” and not walk away yelling, “All whites are evil!” You can read “The Hate U Give” and think, “Wow, I never know this is how [fill in the black group] feels.” Fuck, you can read a book about the rise of the KKK and not wind up joining the KKK.
Ultimately, it’s all about exposure. Life is about exposure. Tasting different foods, hearing different voices, visiting different lands, listening to different viewpoints.
Unless you’re Tanya Esposito•Tatiana Ibrahim •Tanya Brahimi•MC Mellie Slick.
Whose life is merely about scaring the shit out of her followers!!!
PS: Sister Genius posted this on her Facebook page. It’s always 1956 in Tanya Esposito•Tatiana Ibrahim •Tanya Brahimi•MC Mellie Slick World …
This morning I saw your courageous Tweet about NFL teams requiring COVID bracelets to identify those who have been vaccinated and those who have not. Here it is …
Again, thank you.
What this world needs, now more than ever, is yet another white guy/arch-conservative/self-identified “Christian,” explaining to us how some element of COVID vaccinations relate to the Civil Rights movement. This comes right on the heels of your brethren in Critical Race Theory angst explaining that the lessons of Martin Luther King are being slashed from the classroom.
Anthony, what you’re doing is courageous. It takes a special man to stare down a global pandemic—one that has killed roughly 660,000 Americans with a new variant that spreads like chickenpox—and say, “Fuck no!” And it takes an even specialer (I invented a word just for you) man to then compare that stand the “the evils of segregation.” I’m not actually sure what that means, but I’m guessing you heard Alex Jones rambling on about the Montgomery Bus Boycotts being organized by space aliensand thought, “Wow. That sounds smart.”
Keep up your stand, Anthony. Join together with your fellow un-vaccinated teammates and visit Mississippi ASAP. Take your message to the people! Shake hands! Hug! Lick telephone poles and kiss these folks.
We need bravery in these tough times. We need people who will defend and stand up for the sanctity of America, the flag and all it stands for.
To say I love this e-mail is to delve into the greatest of understatement. It features all the hallmarks of excellence. In no particular order …
• Irrational and inexplicable capitalization.
• “Friends” “in” “quotes.” Are they not my friends? Or “friends”?
• A whole lot of anger.
• Best of all—irony. I’m the pussy? R-e-a-l-l-y? I’m the pussy? My name was attached to the words I wrote. There are no less than, oh, seven identifiable ways to contact me. You know my name. You can get my bio on Wikipedia. My Facebook page is there. My Twitter page is there. But … I’m the pussy? Me? Jeff Pearlman? Not anonymous email@example.com loser?
What’s wrong, buddy? You too scared to put your name behind your words? Your feelings a little hurt? You afraid an unarmed 49-year-old writer is gonna beat you up?
So earlier today the Chicago Cubs sent pitcher Ryan Tepera across town to the White Sox, in exchange for a lefthander named Bailey Horn.
I have never heard of Tepera. I have never heard of Horn. But I’m 100 percent all in on this deal.
In short, as a native New Yorker, I’ve always looooooooooved crosstown trades. The first time I experienced one was in the lord’s year of 1987, when the Mets sent shortstop Rafael Santana (one of my all-time favorite players) to the Yankees for a trio of minor leaguers—Darren Reed, Phil Lombardi and Steve Frey. On the surface, it wasn’t much of a swap. Santana was the weak link of the 1986 Mets—a solid-field, weak-armed, .218-hitting shortstop who (as reported in my book, “The Bad Guys Won!”) once got so wasted he took a piss on a bus seat. Reed, Lombardi and Frey, meanwhile, were fringe dudes. Reed played 26 games with the 1990 Mets, Lombardi 18 games with the 1989 Mets and Frey, well, Frey actually had a lengthy and productive career.
I think what I’ve always enjoyed about the same-city swap are the attached mental images: Finding out about the deal, suffering through a moment of sadness, then realizing, “Wait, I don’t have to move.” Entering the clubhouse for the first time and having someone say, “Uh-oh–the enemy has arrived.” Comparing notes between Yankees and Mets, White Sox and Cubs, Angels and Dodgers (though, really, the Angels are not in LA—so this one barely counts).
So the Jets got the picks, the Giants got Williams …
And, well, Williams is fantastic. He signed a new contract, he recorded 11 1/2 sacks last season. He’s pretty damn phenomenal. All it took was a change of scenery. Or, truth be told, a change of locker-rooms and uniform colors.
So, mazel tov to Ryan Tepera, mazel tov to Bailey Horn.
So if you’ve been following this blog of late, you know I’ve written quite a bit about Tatiana Tanya Ibrahim, the batshit crazy Carmel, N.Y. parent who is all about so-called Critical Race Theory shaming and MAGA and barking and yelling and screaming and making people who disagree with her A. Feel like shit; B. Experience genuine rage and hostility.
And I thought I knew the worst of it. Truly, I did. But then I was directed to something so fucking vile, so fucking inappropriate, that I wanted to kick a wall. Or at least kick the soft side of a wall.
So, somewhat recently, Tatiana Tanya Ibrahim posted on social media the yearbook photo—name included—of a graduating Mahopac High School senior who had BLM written across their face, and the quote IT’S A MOVEMENT, NOT A MOMENT beneath the image. Here’s a look, with specifics blotted out …
And, predictably, the spewage followed. Social media rampages against the student and the student’s family (and directed at them). And for what? For fucking what, Tatiana Tanya Ibrahim? Because this young person believes BLM is a worthwhile cause? Because this young person has a differing opinion? Is THIS what you do to people who disagree with you, Tatiana Tanya Ibrahim? People who are, what, 17? Eighteen? You put them on blast, spread their name to your followers, have them attack with little regard for decency, empathy, kindness? You don’t know this kid. You don’t know what this kid has been through. You know absolutely nothing about this person’s life experiences. Fucking nothing.
But that doesn’t matter to you—because (as I said in this post) you’re getting super jiggy with the idea of being a hard-right celebrity du jour (that means “of the day,” Tatiana Tanya Ibrahim). A few weeks ago, nobody knew who the fuck you were. But now—bark! bark! bark! bark!—you’re the slayer of the left; the Newsmax grip ‘n; go; the woman who (I firmly believe) couldn’t tell us five things about the Black Panthers, but loves saying how evil they are. So what if people are being attacked and teachers and guidance counselors are facing threats? So what if you could have actually expressed your concerns in a reasonable manner, and—just maybe—have been heard?
So fucking what?
You exist for one reason. To be as loud and crass and ugly as possible, and hope the spotlight doesn’t fade on your bullshit.
She then called the Black Panthers “evil.” Because, of course, they’re evil. Tanya knows. Because, um … yeah.
“When we talk about slavery,” she said. “Do you explain how we [whites] fought with every ounce in us to end slavery? For goodness sake, they want history! They’re taking down statues!”
Then, mercifully, my screen froze.
And it hit me—hard. This woman is a moron. Not half a moron. Not 3/4 moron. Full moron. She’s not smart, she’s not educated, she’s not informed. When one of the hosts (the man) started discussing U.S. history, Tatiana Tanya sat quietly and pretended to know what he was referring to. But she clearly did not. Because, again, she’s a fucking moron.
The thing is, I have yet to hear anyone say, “Sooooo … what are your qualifications?” No one. Not a single person. It’s like following a general into battle, only to learn six hours earlier he was a copy machine salesman. But people gobble it up. Because she’s loud. And angry. And makes faces that merge a know-it-all smirk with the relief of having just pooped.
Lord, it’s quite the headache.
One more thing: I’ve long badgered my wife over her love of trashy reality TV. But now, for the first time, I get it. Tatiana Tanya is trashy reality TV personified. It’s like watching a shaved giraffe try and learn Spanish. Or two blind dolphins wrestling over a pretzel. It’s Carl Lewis and a leopard racing the 100 in slippers and blindfolds.
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.
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.
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.
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 …
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.
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?
You seem pretty mean when it comes to LGBTQ issues. Is that a thing with you?
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?
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.”
The cliched answer is, “Grateful.” And maybe that’s the correct answer, too. Grateful to live in a democracy. Grateful to live in a place that’s provided immense opportunities. Grateful to be in beautiful Southern California, miles from the coastline.
But … I dunno. Last night I caught a bit of Donald Trump speaking to his mind slaves about stolen elections and the Capitol storming. I watched his mind slaves cheer and clap. And I thought, “Jesus—this is 30 percent of my fellow citizens. Thirty percent believe this conman. Thirty percent think he—and he alone—lights the way.”
I look at our inaction on climate change, and how we’re too cowardly/dumb/greedy to lift a finger. I look at racism, sexism, homophobia, and how more and more people are revolting against the very idea of combating hate. They seem to believe that hatred—deep, raw hatred—is righteous nationalism.
I want to feel good about America. I want to have love in my heart.
But, to be honest, this July 4 I have far more doubts than resolve. I wonder, a decade from now, what the United States of America even looks like. I wonder if we survive all this. I wonder if corporations have finally figured out how to own all of us. I wonder if we can still be collectively decent. I wonder, if 9.11 happened today, could the nation rally as one.