As the next step in a journey that started in July of 2015 when NASCAR stated the desire to make events the most fan-friendly, welcoming environments in all of sports, NASCAR has now banned the Confederate Flag. (NASCAR Disavows Racist Confederate Flag) It did so at the urging of its only black driver Bubba Wallace Jr. who is about to field a car lettered with Black Lives Matter.
Yes, ongoing systemic racism and the ongoing murder in cold blood of black people by the police – including the gruesome George Floyd knee on the neck execution captured on camera by a brave young woman – has prompted NASCAR to ban the Traitor’s Flag entirely. The peaceful demonstrations, of course, continue to assert “Black Lives Matter.”
NASCAR agrees: “The presence of the confederate flag at NASCAR events runs contrary to our commitment to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for all fans, our competitors and our industry. Bringing people together around a love for racing and the community that it creates is what makes our fans and sport special. The display of the confederate flag will be prohibited from all NASCAR events and properties” it said.
Is this sincere? Or is it desire to escape the political maelstrom now sweeping across the land as attacks on blacks continue unabated with the stars and the bars as the ongoing a symbol of white racism. AutoInformed thinks it’s a great – if long overdue beginning.
Republicans are now floundering over their long-held promotion of racism for political gain among angry whites, along with voter suppression of black or brown people. But even here led by the lone voice and braver actions of Mitt Romney – there is at least one Republican who has had enough as well and no longer wants to be part of a Confederate government.
Romney says Black Lives Matter by marching in protest, and his actions demonstrate that WE the people can peacefully bring forth grievances to our government so they can be addressed. This Constitutional right cannot be trumped or barred by the racist Attorney General.
I know that if you ask NASCAR about what it has actively done to integrate the sport and its businesses over the decades – once you get past the self-interested ticket sales of its minority policies – the deeds are sparse. How many black drivers are there in NASCAR? How many black team owners are there in NASCAR? How many minority-owned businesses participate in its prosperity?
Alas, it is also true that there is considerable risk for NASCAR given its southern fan base for it to become join the peaceful constitutional crowd with a more proactive in fighting racism. But NASCAR appears poised to lead the laps run against racism, not hang back on the track while other leaders fighting against racism charge ahead. Let’s hope the lights remain green for however long it takes to practice the truths we hold to be true that are self evident – that all are equal.