In NASCAR flare-up, no ‘noose’ is good news, but bad news reporting can’t tell the difference
Conservative commentator Ben Shapiro is fond of saying that in America, the demand for racism far outpaces the supply — which is one reason so many progressives latch onto such alleged incidents with the tenacity of an enraged pit bull. He seems to be correct, despite what the “anti-Black racism” protesters in the streets want the rest of us to believe.
The case involving NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace is illustrative.
As NASCAR green-lighted its stalled racing season, Wallace, the sport’s only black driver, announced that he was offended by the ubiquitous presence of the Confederate flag at stock car races. NASCAR replied by promptly banning the rebel banner from all its events.
Then, came last weekend’s race in Talladega, Alabama. Wallace’s team reportedly spotted a “noose” dangling in his garage at the track, although Wallace himself did not see it.
Wallace declared it a “despicable act of racism.” In response, Talladega’s mayor and Gov. Kay Ivey, a Republican, both denounced the incident, as did NASCAR. Before the race, held on Monday because of a rain delay, all 39 other drivers and their crews showed solidarity with him by marching behind Wallace and pushing his car to the front of the pack along pit road. An incensed Al Sharpton vowed to make an appearance. “NASCAR can expect a visit from me — and I won’t be coming to drive a car,” Sharpton told TMZ.
The local U.S. attorney and the FBI, which dispatched 15 agents to Talladega, investigated the incident as a possible hate crime.
The outcome: No noose. Which is good news. Apparently, the rope in question had been installed as a handle to close the garage door.
In a statement on Tuesday, U.S. Attorney Jay Town and FBI Special Agent in Charge Johnnie Sharp Jr. noted, “After a thorough review of the facts and evidence surrounding this event, we have concluded that no federal crime was committed.
“The FBI learned that garage number 4, where the noose was found, was assigned to Bubba Wallace last week. The investigation also revealed evidence, including authentic video confirmed by NASCAR, that the noose found in garage number 4 was in that garage as early as October 2019. Although the noose is now known to have been in garage number 4 in 2019, nobody could have known Mr. Wallace would be assigned to garage number 4 last week.
“The decision not to pursue federal charges is proper after reviewing all available facts and all applicable federal laws. We offer our thanks to NASCAR, Mr. Wallace, and everyone who cooperated with this investigation.”
A crewman from another team, Woods Brothers Racing, also recalled seeing the rope suspended in that garage from last fall.
While we can all be relieved this was not some hateful demonstration of racism, the FBI’s finding raises a different issue: now that we know it wasn’t, why is no one forced to retract their initial claims?
In recent days we’ve seen accusations of racism surrounding the supposed lynchings of Black men that, upon further review, have proven to be what they initially seemed: tragic instances of suicide.
Other “noose” incidents in New York City and Oakland, which were particularly ironic considering that a Black resident admitted hanging the offending ropes as part of a workout regimen, have shown to be false.
And now Wallace and a garage door handle.
And through it all, as happened after the Jussie Smollett hoax last year, few, if any, take responsibility for pouring gas on this especially volatile fire.
John Ziegler, a senior columnist for Mediaite, seems to have the answer to the aforementioned question:
“Instead of doing basic journalism and waiting for at least some actual facts to come in, the entire industrial media complex rushed to judgment and allowed virtue-signaling to completely overtake any sense of rationality, or even basic common sense,” Ziegler wrote on Tuesday.
“It never even seemed to occur to them that, with track access extremely limited due to COVID, catching someone who did this would be incredibly easy and, therefore, someone who works in the NASCAR community would have to be willing to destroy their entire lives in order to make an incredibly stupid and racist gesture.”
He continued, “Will there be any accountability for this enormous and easily avoided act of media malpractice? Will there be any apology to NASCAR fans and the people of Alabama who were presumed to be racist enough to commit, or at least enable, such a heinous act? Will there be any lessons learned by the news media?
“Sadly, but predictably, the answers to these important questions will likely all be negative. No one in the major media gets fired for being wrong in interpreting a news event anymore, at least not if they are incorrect in the woke direction, and the ratings for the story are good.”
That about sums it up.
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