NASCAR announced yesterday that they are banning Confederate flags after Darrell "Bubba" Wallace Jr., NASCAR's only black driver, called for action in the wake of the George Floyd protests.
Said Wallace, "We shouldn't have anybody feeling uncomfortable. Inclusion is what we're trying to accomplish here, unity." Wallace then acknowledged that while many people claim that the Confederate flag is about heritage, "to a lot of people it's a sign of hate."
Now to an alien observing Earth from a distant world, it might seem odd how a protest about police brutality could lead to a race-car circuit banning a flag that was used in a war 150 years ago. But as humans who live on this planet, we can all obviously see how these things are interconnected under the umbrella of racism against Black People. That NASCAR is considered by many to be a southern sport, and that the Civil War was a battle between the North and the South over the right to keep slaves further entangles this issue. So while some fans might be whining because they view NASCAR's decision to bar the Confederate flag as a sign of solidarity with protesters (it is), they should also be aware of something.
NASCAR was built on being anti-cop.
Specifically, NASCAR originated as a way to bootleg moonshine. In the 1940s, bootleggers would soup-up their cars with V-8 engines from ambulances and then speed through the Appalachian foothills to avoid the police. Eventually, bootleggers began to race each other, and by 1947, Big Bill France called for a meeting with fellow drivers to standardize some rules. This meeting formed the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR), and only two months later, they held their first official race on Daytona Beach.
So if we're going to talk heritage and tradition, it's perfectly in line with NASCAR's history to throw a big ol' middle finger towards the police's direction just as the many bootleggers did who came before them. Is NASCAR going to come out with a statement about defunding the police? Probably not, but who knows. It sure would make the bootleggers happy.
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