Diversity in Racing: Kitty Taylor

Kitty Taylor Fasig-Tipton 

KITTY TAYLOR, Warrendale Sales

I think most of the time, folks don't want to see others people's points of view and/or they can't see them due to their life experiences. I was listening to NPR yesterday, and they were discussing the discontinuation of Aunt Jemima, Uncle Ben's and Cream of Wheat because of their use of African American imagery. I had never thought of the subtle messaging that just those small daily images make on our views of others.

To that point, until we in racing can become more self-aware, we can't be more inclusive. While we're not like NASCAR and haven't flown the Confederate flag for decades, we have our own “exclusive” clubs at race tracks. There is a hierarchy–clubhouse versus grandstand, membership versus non-membership, all of this is visible to those around them. While there are now racing clubs that are “all women” like Starlight Ladies, how about some open the door to others?

When I was much younger, a majority of grooms at the race track were largely African American, and now it's largely a Hispanic work force. Until we can level the playing field and crack open doors for everyone to enjoy and participate, racing will remain the exclusive club it has historically been. Perhaps opening up board membership to others via appointed versus voted on for inclusion to the Breeders' Cup, Jockey Club, Keeneland, etc. will start that process. This is a time of change in our country and I hope we can see the opportunities.

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