Together Against Evil Personified

Walking Bubba's car to the front. AP photo

Because it's not Russia's treachery or Barr's  corruption or his own catastrophic failure on COVID, Trump just launched a racist attack "breathtaking even by (his)  usual standards" on Bubba Wallace, NASCAR's only black driver, for not apologizing for the noose found last month hanging in his garage. Trump whined "the whole thing was just another HOAX" - not - and that NASCAR's decision, thanks to Wallace's advocacy, to ban the Confederate flag has caused "lowest ratings EVER!" though in fact they're up over 100%, because when in doubt, let's go straight to the lies and white supremacy. The noose was discovered -  and reported by someone else - in Wallace's garage stall soon after he'd urged the flag be removed. NASCAR, the whitest of America's white sports and generally deemed the largest purview of conservative yahoos outside of a rodeo, reacted swiftly. At the next race, almost 40 white good ol' boys pushed Wallace's No.43 Chevrolet to the front of the starting line in a dramatic show of solidarity to publicly proclaim, "Let's go shut these haters up...We are one family." NASCAR legend and Wallace’s team owner Richard Petty turned up enraged to declare, "This despicable act is not representative (of) NASCAR," and "I stand shoulder to shoulder with Bubba, yesterday, today, tomorrow and every day forward.” An emotional Bubba posted a photo of his fellow drivers with, "Together," also noting the "painful reminder of how much further we have to go as a society."

Later, the FBI determined the noose had been in the garage for months and declined to call it a hate crime; a NASCAR investigation looked at 1,684 stalls at 29 racetracks, found 11 ropes with a pull rope tied in a knot, and only one - in Wallace’s stall - made into a noose. NASCAR's president: "The noose was real, as was our concern for Bubba." To Trump - a small sad racist dumbly, defiantly clinging to the wrong side of history and calling the righteous Kaepernick "an SOB" and sneering his fellow activist-athletes should "shut up and dribble" - this was his "hoax." Like his obsession with statues, he Just Doesn't Get It. Hell, even slimy Lindsey Graham disagreed, arguing, "You saw the best in NASCAR." Amidst BLM activism and the ongoing violence it combats - here, here, here, here - there is no understanding times are changing, and sports, their cultural face, with it - here and here. Thus is Trump, who should be apologizing to so many, among the sorry souls The Nation's Dave Zirin calls "violent people currently experiencing spasms of realizing their own dead-end irrelevance," for whom "losing NASCAR as a place where they can let their Confederate freak flag fly is salt in their wounds." Thus the consensus that Trump is wrong on everything, that BLM wins and "will keep crashing at your doorstep," that there will always be, as Wallace calmly responded to the latest indignity, "Love over hate every day." At least for thee and thine, which is enough for now.

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