I generally believe that the main thrust of the current Black Lives Matter protests is to change the way the police operate (with violent impunity) and to change the laws around policing and crime. Of course the larger point is to change hearts and minds, so we can all acknowledge the deep racism that exists at every level of American society. I’ve really been enjoying all of the side-stories though, about some sh-t which wasn’t even Black Lives Matters’ main agenda. Like this: NASCAR and Confederate flags. NASCAR is beloved in all Southern states, and as such, you can see millions of Confederate flags at NASCAR events all the time. Except no more. One day after driver Bubba Wallace asked NASCAR to ban the flags, NASCAR banned them (the flags not the rednecks):
“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’s crazy that NASCAR aims to be more inclusive than, say, the White House. From what I gather – and I’m no expert – this means that people shouldn’t bring their giant confederate flags to NASCAR events… or what? Will the flags be confiscated? Will the people be kicked out? I don’t know. It’s mostly a symbolic victory, but symbolic victories count for a lot – that’s why people are tossing statues of racists and slave-traders into the sea.
And because there always has to be That Guy, NASCAR’s That Guy is a NASCAR driver/owner named Ray Ciccarelli, who posted this to Facebook (because of course he did):
Well its been a fun ride and dream come true but if this is the direction Nascar is headed we will not participate after 2020 season is over , i don’t believe in kneeling during Anthem nor taken ppl right to fly what ever flag they love. I could care less about the Confederate Flag but there are ppl that do and it doesn’t make them a racist all you are doing is f—ing one group to cater to another and i ain’t spend the money we are to participate in any political BS!! So everything is for SALE!!
He’s also referencing NASCAR’s decision to allow drivers and personnel to kneel during the anthem. I mean… Ray Ciccarelli probably isn’t for ALL flags that people love, right? If someone was like “I want to fly this Nazi flag at NASCAR events because this is the flag I love,” would Ciccarelli have a problem with that or nah? Think of it that way, because that’s what the confederate flag means to a lot of people too.
NASCAR truck racer Ray Ciccarelli says he's quitting after Confederate flag ban https://t.co/JQq7XrbT1O
— MSN (@MSN) June 11, 2020
Photos courtesy of social media.