What your view of sports and life would be if you had too many concussions
Rural America is run by rednecks. One of the beautiful things about rednecks is that they live up to the definition ascribed to them by noted redneck Jeff Foxworthy: “Redneck” is a glorious absence of sophistication. One of the beautiful things about that such a lack of sophistication is they don’t tend to subscribe to such outright bull-shittery like “political correctness.”
Last month, PGA golfer Bubba Watson purchased his dream car – the famed “General Lee” ofDukes of Hazzard fame – for $110,000 at the Barrett-Jackson automobile auction. Phoenix International Raceway officials then invited Watson — a close friend of NASCAR driver Denny Hamlin — to be an honorary race official and take a lap in his new ride prior to the upcoming Sprint Cup Series race at the track. But NASCAR caught wind of the arrangement this week and nixed the whole idea on grounds the car could be considered offensive.
So, let me get this straight…a car; a completely inanimate object now has the power to be offensive? Eat me.
The General Lee, which was driven by the Duke boys in the early 1980s TV series, is named for Confederate general Robert E. Lee and has a Confederate flag on the roof. While that may have been acceptable in the old NASCAR, the new NASCAR is much more image-conscious and doesn’t want to exclude any of its fans. NASCAR’s view is having the General Lee parade around the track before one of its races could be construed as condoning a symbol of racism.
First of all, anybody who can look at a car and see a symbol of racism wants to see racism everywhere they look. Face it, if you can be offended by an inanimate object, you either have too much time on your hands or you don’t have enough real problems in your life.
But more importantly, who the hell does NASCAR think their fans are? Know where I find the people who get upset over a flag painted on a car? They are usually driving Volvo station wagons and ordering skinny chai lattes at Starbucks. How many NASCAR jackets have you seen in a Starbuck’s lately? NASCAR fans buy their coffee at the same place they buy their Skoal and their gasoline.
Frankly, I get the feeling Bubba Watson may have wanted to say more than this, but he was smart enough to stay out of the meat of the discussion.
Watson’s view, though, is pure disappointment:
Confederate flags remain a common sight at NASCAR races because some campers fly the flags in a salute to their Southern heritage. But NASCAR officials believe there’s a big difference between a guy hanging a flag on his RV and allowing the General Lee – and thus the Confederate flag – to take a parade lap in front of 70,000 people. NASCAR’s decision not to promote a potentially offensive symbol may be laudable, but some fans will likely consider it as an overly sensitive move. A sizable number of fans won’t look at the General Lee as anything but an iconic vehicle from a popular sitcom, and thus, they may view NASCAR’s ban as a politically correct overreaction.
Laudable, my ass. All this does is perpetuate a belief that we can ascribe all of the evils of society to a few symbols, and that by banishing the symbols, the problems go away.
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