Before NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace appeared on CNN with Don Lémon to discuss his now disproven racial “noose” targeting, he had a decision to make. Wallace could accept the FBI/NASCAR finding and admit an honest mistake was made by an overly sensitive Richard Petty racing team; or he could make racism his new identity in NASCAR as Colin Kaepernick did with football in the NFL. Bubba Wallace chose the latter.
As a result of Wallace’s new identity, and his announced career goals, NASCAR will now fragment in the same way as the National Football League. Social justice will now define Mr. Wallace professional effort; driving with NASCAR becomes a method to achieve his new career aspirations. That inflection point, his identity choice, is clear in his interview.
However, before getting to the interview it is worth looking at how this entire fiasco was created, starting with the carefully obtuse explanation from Richard Petty Motorsports:
Obviously Richard Petty’s team are socially woke and enlightened to their obligations in a new era of racial sensitivity. Notice the careful wording: “discovered a rope tied in the fashion of a noose”, key word “fashion.” The careful wording allows the statement to skirt on the fringes of common sense truth because they don’t ‘technically’ say it’s a noose; quite simply, because it isn’t. If it were a noose it would be useless as a garage door pull.
That brings up the second obtuse aspect of the sentence: “discovered a rope”, notice they don’t say it was attached to the garage door pull (which it was) because that would make their misinterpretation seem even more ridiculous. Saying ‘we discovered a garage door pull-down rope that appeared to be fashioned as a noose’, would illicit eye-rolls. So they carefully avoid noting their stupidity by ignoring common sense.
“According to established protocols our team notified the crew chief”, so they have protocols for nooses at Richard Petty Motorsports? Of course they don’t. They have protocols for making stupid stuff into bigger stupid stuff by notifying ever increasing pearl-clutchers. If you’ve ever worked in a corporate setting, you know the nonsense that can flow from a particular squeeky noisemaker who enjoys attention. Same/Same.
From that moment forward NASCAR, the corporate side; the public relations, brand image and risk management side; took over. Thus the culturally sensitive and politically correct NASCAR President, Steve Phelps, soon found himself in the motor-home of Bubba Wallace crying and explaining that “a hate crime has been committed against him.” Yes, that’s what happened (it’s in the interview).
Throughout this event, from the moment the garage door pull was defined as a “noose”, common sense was displaced by an overwhelming urge to be appropriately sensitive to the slightest possibility that something terribly untoward may be afoot. The 800lb gorilla in the corner of the decision-making space is NASCAR’s intention to find a new culturally diverse audience. A corporations cultural direction once again drowned common sense.
Within the interview Bubba Wallace waxes poetically about how much he appreciated Steve Phelps sensitivities; and how President Phelps is just the right kind of woke-minded leader to carry NASCAR into the social justice era against the hordes of deplorable redneck rubes they are now trying to outrun. CNN host Don Lemon is giddy with praise for such an enlightened relationship and praises young Wallace for his millionaire fortitude to be able to withstand emotional pain; and yet overcome the adversity of being a victim.
Not to skim the point, the choice of CNN’s Don Lemon as a brother in the movement, facilitating Wallace’s inflection point, professional identity and first public comments since the FBI debunked the “hate crime” in question, should not be overlooked. Again, when you have to pretend not to know things, it is wise to lean upon a fellow traveler.
Within the interview Bubba Wallace accepts the FBI finding that he was not a target. However, in keeping with his new identity, Wallace doubles down on the false narrative that a “noose” was indeed created by some racist entities in NASCAR.
Wallace’s overt inference -and it isn’t at all subtle- is that racist teams are running amok in the sport, tying random nooses on garage doors, and Bubba welcomes the challenge of overcoming their racial adversity. In short, Bubba Wallace calls some of those who just joined him in a unity parade, racist NASCAR participants who tie nooses.
That victim outlook permits Wallace to further proclaim his mission to bring NASCAR to “an entirely new audience of followers” who have -in his words- demanded that he “place himself on a pedestal” to do battle with the racist NASCAR elements that surround him.
So there you have it… you can watch it in the interview. Bubba Wallace is to NASCAR as Colin Kaepernick was/is to the NFL. If he loses a sponsor, it’s racism. If he’s bumped in a race, it’s racism. If he doesn’t win, and/or as a result of poor performance questions arise about losing his ride, yep, racism.
By doubling, tripling and quadrupling down; with anger and disdain toward any who would counter him with common sense; on the completely false assertion that a garage door with a “loop knot” or “scaffold knot” is a noose, Wallace attempts to shield himself by weaponizing his race. Any challenge to his defined noose narrative is racism.
And you know what,… it will work.
How can I be so certain that his approach will work? The answer is really quite simple.
Think about how weak an organization needs to be in order to permit a ridiculous garage door rope with a loop on the end; becoming such a ridiculously overblown issue that the corporation would organize an full-throated PR campaign around a hoax; while the leader of the organization sobs in the trailer of an falsely identified hate-crime victim.
In essence, weak organizations are a breeding ground for communal stupid; and every one of them ends the same way. Both the NFL and NASCAR are following the same woke business plan. Watch his interview, you’ll see it: