In many instances, there are added responsibilities when it comes to being Black. Professional stock car racer Bubba Wallace proves that. Wallace has been in the headlines not only for his latest stats but because he is black. He is the only full-time black driver in the NASCAR organization. This has put him in the position to educate those oblivious to the racism that we as Black people still face, whether he feels like it or not.
Here’s the situation
Normally I would refrain from commenting on Trump’s latest Twitter foolishness, however, his drivel is what has led both Wallace and NASCAR to speak out most recently about race and equality. Just a few weeks ago, the last major NASCAR episode involved a noose that was found in Wallace’s garage stall. After an FBI investigation, it turns out there was no foul play but that someone thoughtlessly tied Wallace’s garage pull rope as a noose.
This whole situation was bizarre and shows how ignorant some people can be. After the FBI search though, they still weren’t able to identify who actually tied the garage pull as a noose. Iit was the only pull tied that way, which is undeniably strange.
Fast-forward from the noose situation and Trump calls out Wallace on Twitter for what he calls a “hoax”. He thinks Wallace should apologize and that NASCAR has made a mistake with banning the confederate flag. Just a reminder though, NASCAR initiated the search.
“Upon learning of and seeing the noose, our initial reaction was to protect our driver,” NASCAR President Steve Phelps said. “We’re living in a highly charged and emotional time. What we saw was a symbol of hate and was only present in one area of the garage and that was of the 43 car of Bubba Wallace. In hindsight, I should have used the word ‘alleged’ in our statement.”NASCAR
Wallace and NASCAR make statements after Trump nonsense
Wallace didn’t stay silent for long after Trump’s comment on July 6. The NASCAR star posted a personal statement on his own social media accounts. His statement is a little vague, but Wallace made a point to encourage people to rise to the occasion and denounce hate, even when it comes from the POTUS. NASCAR expressed support for Wallace on social media too. We have to give NASCAR credit for addressing acts of racism. It’s taken other sports organizations much longer to take a stance.
Remembering what really matters
As Wallace said, it’s important for us to continue to do the work in fighting for equality, and there’s so much more to be done. I personally appreciate Wallace, and NASCAR’s corporate team speaking out, even though the bar was originally set low. Just a couple of days before today’s frenzy, Wallace spoke with Car and Driver on the importance of using his platform to call out injustice.
“You have to understand why Black people are so mad right now, and educate yourself on that, understand why they’re hurt,” he said. “Watch the devastating videos of the killings of Ahmaud Arbery, and George Floyd, and the news about Breonna Taylor in recent weeks, and what’s still going on.
What does the Confederate flag really mean? How does it impact African-American culture and how does it represent pride and heritage to some and hate to others? I’m constantly trying to figure out why trying to figure out the facts. I speak about what I believe is true and what I believe is right.”Bubba Wallace