What your view of sports and life would be if you had too many concussions

Signs We Are Near The End Of Civilization: NASCAR Bans the “General Lee”

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.”

Until now.

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.

– Dubsism is a proud member of the Sports Blog Movement

About J-Dub

What your view of sports would be if you had too many concussions

15 comments on “Signs We Are Near The End Of Civilization: NASCAR Bans the “General Lee”

  1. ChrisHumpherys (@SportsChump)
    February 17, 2012

    Sounds like someone needs a drink this weekend.

    First of all, inanimate objects, or symbols (swastika), can be offensive for they carry with them elements of the hatred or oppression they once represented.

    That being said, do some of us need to lighten up? Absolutely.

    But you know this was a money move by NASCAR. They’re not going to lose the ‘redneck’ viewer, who will just bitch about this story to their friends over a can of Keystone Light, however, NASCAR probably stands to offend some of their newer fans, the bow-tie wearing, cubicle-working, Zima drinkers that thinks that the rebel flag is still offensive.

    Um… which some legitimately consider it to be.


    • J-Dub
      February 17, 2012

      Here’s the problem with giving such power to mere symbols.

      1) Inanimate objects only have the power which we give them. You know that half the jack-offs who put confederate flag bumper stickers on their pick-up trucks do so because it pisses people off.

      2) These phony shows of conscience like what NASCAR is doing only gives the false sense that the underlying problem is being solved. Not only does this waste effort that could be going to real solutions, but it galvanizes the people the people in point #1.

      “Some people consider these things to be offensive…” So what? Some people think the world is flat, some people think pro wrestling isn’t scripted, and some people think Applebee’s is fine dining. Nobody has a right to not be offended, and if you can look at a car from a 30-year old TV show and see the Klan, you’ve missed the point so badly that your opinion should be questioned at every turn.

      The bottom line: if you want to be offended by racism, stop worrying about paint jobs and start worrying about racists.

      And I hope you weren’t suggesting that I drink Zima…


  2. ChrisHumpherys (@SportsChump)
    February 17, 2012

    No sir, I would never mistake you for a Zima guy.

    Mai tai’s on the beach or sipping a cold refreshing rum cocktail out of a pineapple, maybe, but Zima? Never.


    • J-Dub
      February 17, 2012

      I seem to recall the bartender in you asking my drink of choice, as you said it told a tale…If I recall correctly, you made some sort of comment about guys who like bourbon straight-up tend to like John Wayne movies…

      Potentially related fact…more than one person I know calls me “Hoss.”


  3. Blog Surface
    February 18, 2012

    Now, I understand that it’s important to make sure that all of NASCAR’s cars are advertising positive brands, but General Lee? NASCAR needs to be a bit more lenient with these types of things or else they will lose a lot of fans.


  4. sportsglutton
    February 20, 2012

    Purely a decision based around money and the national/worldwide corporate dollars NASCAR depends on. I guess NASCAR forgot that a few years back Hollywood made a film with the General Lee in it and no one was outraged.


  5. bigyaz
    February 21, 2012

    Really? We shouldn’t be offended by inanimate objects? Hang a noose from the grandstands! Paint swastikas on your car! They’re just inanimate objects, right? Anyone who would be offended is overly sensitive, just looking to be offended!

    Perhaps you want to rethink this one. Any attempt to defend it will just dig you a deeper hole.


    • J-Dub
      February 21, 2012

      Sorry, I save my indignation the people who commit offensive acts. That’s how you eliminate the problems. I don’t get whipped up about paint jobs or pieces of rope. That doesn’t get you anywhere.


  6. sportsattitudes
    February 21, 2012

    NASCAR is now completely beholden to corporate America, not normal America. This decision was not unexpected. Ironically, they are more and more consistent on the way their decisions in these matters fall now than they are on rulings within their sport, sporting contradictory decisions that change with the wind. But I digress. Symbols can be very powerful images that mean completely different things to different people. The problems and issues behind the meanings we carry with them never go away even if the symbols get put in a closet now and then. Better to try to diffuse the symbols’ power by letting them be displayed…and then having open discourse and conversation as to what they mean to all. We did have a Civil War, people. That fact isn’t going away…even if this car is.


  7. I’m confused…I guess I didn’t realize that Zima was going to sponsor the General Lee.

    Look, racism may be everywhere but it’s not like having it there is going to incite any violence.

    Of course Dubs drinks Zima.


  8. …and roofies are always a bonus


  9. Pingback: Signs We Are Near The End Of Civilization: Bubba Watson and the “General Lee,” Part II | Dubsism

  10. Pingback: Signs We Are Near The End Of Civilization: Bubba Watson and the "General Lee," Part II - Turtleboy Sports

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