Noose found in garage of black NASCAR driver Wallace

NASCAR

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NASCAR has begun an investigation after a noose was found in the garage stall of Bubba Wallace, its only full-time black competitor, yesterday afternoon.

Nooses, which are symbolic of lynchings, have been used to target and intimidate black people.

“Late this afternoon, NASCAR was made aware that a noose was found in the garage stall of the 43 team,” said the series in a statement.

“We are angry and outraged, and cannot state strongly enough how seriously we take this heinous act. We have launched an immediate investigation, and will do everything we can to identify the person(s) responsible and eliminate them from the sport.”

Wallace has voiced his support for anti-racism protesters in recent weeks following the death of George Floyd. He has sported a ‘Black Lives Matter’ livery on his car and called for NASCAR to ban the appearance of the Confederate flag from its events.

NASCAR banned the use of the flag 12 days ago. At last weekend’s round in Talladega, Alabama, the second since the ban was introduced, several people were seen protesting with the flag outside the circuit.

“As we have stated unequivocally, there is no place for racism in NASCAR, and this act only strengthens our resolve to make the sport open and welcoming to all,” the statement added.

NASCAR has begun readmitting spectators to races in recent weeks. The Talladega round was open to 5,000 fans, though Sunday’s race was postponed to Monday due to rain.

Wallace said the “despicable act of racism and hatred” left him “incredibly saddened”.

“[It] serves as a painful reminder of how much further we have to go as a society and how persistent we must be in the fight against racism.”

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Keith Collantine
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  • 74 comments on “Noose found in garage of black NASCAR driver Wallace”

    1. “[It] serves as a painful reminder of how much further we have to go as a society and how persistent we must be in the fight against racism.”

      Indeed. Not much to add to that.

      1. @bascb Yep it’s just under the surface of some people ready to show itself with little provocation.

      2. It’s ironic that the racists can shine a light on the issue much more directly than the actual people protesting against it.

      3. I’ll add that none of this had ever happened before NASCAR banned the confederate flag. It is not by any means a justification. the same way a swastika is not a nazi creation, the confederate flag is not a symbol for slavery. I don’t think this is the most effective method to fight racism.

        1. What? People don’t go around putting the Nazi swastika up in random places (unless they’re racist). The confederate flag is absolutely a symbol of racism these days. The confederacy only lasted 4 years I believe so people using it now, just as with the Nazi version of the swastika absolutely are using it as a symbol. A symbol of their racism.

        2. Did the confederacy not fight under that flag specifically to maintain slavery?

          Comparing it to the swastika is bizarre. Yes, in the correct context and not on a nazi flag, the swastika is not necessarily racist. But it certainly is on a Nazi flag. The only way it is analogous to the Confederate flag as a whole is if you admit the flag is racist but the symbols on it (cross, stars) aren’t. Which is the case.

          1. @matt90 pretty much. The problem is that by that logic the US flag is racist, segregation didn’t end that long ago. nobody would accept banning the us flag, erasing history. You ban the symbols and you fuel the fire. That is why I said what I said.
            I give the benefit of the doubt, maybe the flag means a lot of other things to many people and maybe people don’t want to be told off. The white background that I haven’t seen in a while is the white supremacy part of it.

            Lincoln opposed slavery but the grim reality is that previously slaves were purchased, had to be taken care of, “taking care of the investment” after that free men went back to their “masters” and started working for wages and using their wages for the privilege of accommodation, no change to the status quo.

            1. “You ban the symbols and you fuel the fire”

              I’m confused, are you suggesting the Nazi flag and Conferderate flag should both be fine then, in spite of you accepting that both are racist?

              Comparing the US flag that has stood for a great deal of time and a multitude of causes, ideals, good and bad (not for one second wanting to undermine the divisiveness), to a flag used purely to continue slavery, isn’t exactly logical. The longstanding flag of any country is going to represent something largely imperfect but multifaceted. The Confederate flag did not, it represented a singular abhorrent cause.

        3. I think that is somewhat simplistic. The stars and bars were put into use in lynchings and terrorism against black people in the Jim Crow era and by the KKK in general. It’s impossible to look at that as a black person and not see a threat. It’s not just a symbol of slavery it’s a specific invoocation of the idea of the antebellum south in which black people were property and killed at will. And a noose is a specific threat of public lynching, not just a generic personal threat. It’s a warning to all black people that they could be killed in public with impunity, as in the past when lynchings were even put on postcards.

          1. @dmw no doubt about the meaning of the noose.

          2. I agree. Unfortunately the coward who did this isn’t going to own up. Now time and effort has to be put in by the police finding this criminal … the police are involved aren’t they? The offender has threatened to murder a driver because he is more successful than what that looser is. Is threatening to murder someone a crime in the USA? I hope so. If the offender is caught we’ll probably get some sort of “Can’t you take a joke” excuse. Hopefully NASCAR do find out who did this so they can show them the door.

            1. Yes, threatening someone is illegal in the US. The person would definitely face charges if caught.

              Hopefully the person is caught and has to pay for their action.

            2. @drycrust it has been confirmed that there is an active criminal investigation, with the FBI having attended the circuit to gather evidence.

        4. Pennyroyal tea – the banned flag is NOT that of the Conderacy, it the battle flag of the Army of Northern Virginia, designed by William P. Miles, an officer on the staff of General G.T. Beauregard.

          1. PATRICK ANSAH-ANTWI
            23rd June 2020, 12:15

            Erm. News flash. The confederate flag has always been racist. It’s kind of how some ppl say all lives matter. Everyone knows that all lives matter however saying black lives matter is just to highlight the inequality and injustices black ppl face in all spheres of life. The system is rigged based on institutional racism from way back. This is also based on how blacks are portrayed. Isn’t it funny how all of a sudden something that Colin did is now being seen as a good way of protesting and is, not disrespectful

      4. Unfortunately the only thing to add is that the people in charge have removed half the comments for this article. Perhaps in the future no more comments will be allowed for many articles.

      1. @eljueta to make matters worse, it seems that this particular incident has resulted in copycat threats being made elsewhere. There is another investigation taking place in Sonoma after somebody decided to hang a noose from one of the trees around that circuit – so, it seems we now have at least two separate incidents of people making similar threats that seem to be directed against Wallace.

    2. A noose, seriously? How archaic and racist can some people be will always amaze me. Still a long way to go!

    3. If this was F1, I’m sure its been done by his own crew. Can someone tell us how tight Nascar security are?

        1. Oops, I linked my sentence.

        2. So other team crew can put it there then. But what about cameras? The organizer must be cover all floor all day to make sure there no sabotage or something.

      1. GtisBetter (@passingisoverrated)
        22nd June 2020, 15:25

        Depends on your ticket. Only certain packages like the VIP package lets you run around between the car. But it’s all very loose. You meet drivers coming out of their trailers walking to the garage, they sometime invite people to show around their workplace, you can talk to engineers, pit crew. It’s also very respectful. People don’t get in the way and when they prepare for free practice of qualifying the pit crew gets space. No one is allowed during free practice or qualifying. Still, only a couple of checkpoints between higher levels acces with 2 people to check. They can let anybody trough if the want. So basically anybody could have done it.

        1. So basically anybody could have done it.

          For a big sport event, that’s insane. But most disturbing things is there’s still no suspect and no camera record.

      2. Also, you have to worry about it bring planted self – propaganda, like with Smolts story in Chicago.

        Then there is the very real possibility it is a setup. The best message the right could have this week would be how a black guy planted a noose to make white people look bad.

        It isn’t paranoid to think that could happen.

        1. You’re literally part of the problem when your immediate assumption is that it’s a false flag.

    4. I’ll give the perpetrators the benefit of the doubt and chalk it up to incredible stupidity.

      Surely as a society we have actually progressed from those that used to use nooses. I’d like to think so anyway.

      Hopefully the idiots who were responsible will turn themselves in immediately.

      1. I’ll give the perpetrators the benefit of the doubt

        Doing that makes you part of the problem.

        1. @matt90 Don’t do that.
          Don’t divide everyone into right or wrong, perpetrator or victim, guilty or innocent… black or white….
          There are for more stances and viewpoints in any situation than 100% for and 100% against. Life is not so simple.

          There are any number of possible reasons why and how it got there.
          Jokes go very bad sometimes. Protests can be extremely distasteful. Things can escalate and get out of control very quickly….
          Until an investigation has been successfully concluded, there’s no point throwing fuel on the fire.

          1. Nope, dismissing an act that would be disgusting even without the horrific racial overtones as a misjudged joke is contemptable.

            1. I agree @matt90. It is another example of coded language.

          2. synonymous, In what world is hanging a noose, long a symbol of oppression, intimidation and unadulterated hate not an issue of right or wrong, perpetrator or victim, guilty or innocent? If this isn’t a clear cut case of the guilty perpetrator who hung the noose being wrong in your book, I can’t imagine what it would take. It is truly sad that you lack the moral conviction to take a stand against blatant bigotry and hide behind equivocation.

            1. William Jones
              22nd June 2020, 13:26

              In fairness they simply said that they don’t want to jump to conclusions. That does seem prudent, you may feel the information is complete enough to draw conclusions from, but that doesn’t mean that it is for everyone.

            2. @William Jones If you feel that someone leaving a hanging noose needs more explanation, I feel sorry for you as well. The language and message is clear and unmistakable. If someone points a loaded gun at your head, maybe you would feel it is prudent to not jump to conclusions that they intend to shoot you, but that doesn’t mean that it is for everyone.

            3. William Jones
              22nd June 2020, 14:05

              In a mirror of my conversations below, I very specifically avoided giving my own opinion on the matter, so how you’ve managed to divine it is anyone’s guess. Specifically your guess. Your incorrect guess. Try again, and this time, don’t attack the strawman opinion you just constructed, attack the actual opinion I expressed.

            4. William Jones
              22nd June 2020, 14:10

              And just to be clear. The actual opinion I expressed is this:

              Someone who doesn’t feel they have enough information to judge a situation (no matter how conclusive you feel that information is) is correct to not jump to a conclusion

            5. @g-funk well said mate

          3. Seriously?! Next you’ll be telling us the burning of crosses on black family’s lawns is just a pyrotechnical jape. A ridiculous comment, away with you and have a think.

        2. No it doesn’t.
          I’m really on side with the Black Lives matter movement and fully support a move to ensure we are all treated fairly but some of you guys are really taking the …proverbial…with this. It’s like the medieval witch trials.
          This noose thing is.clearly dispicable end of.

          1. Please can you explain how statements such as these, that give the benefit of the doubt to perpetrators of racist death threats, are not part of the problem and how calling out such statements is in conflict with your support of BLM? I am genuinely very curious.

        3. I’ll add that I considered making this response more polite and saying that such a statement could be considered to be problematic. But I decided it is too importantant and shouldn’t be softened like that. Saying that you would give the perpetrators of a racist death threat the benefit of the doubt before knowing any further details and assuming it is an act of stupidity rather than willful undermines the horrible act and normalises this kind of behaviour. That is why I said that making a statement like that is part of the problem.

      2. There’s no doubt here and certainly no benefit to be given. The noose is a symbol calculated to give maximum distress. It’s a threat. It’s not stupidity, it’s malign.

      3. @dbradock as others have noted, the use of nooses as a threat to people who are black in the US is a long established act of intimidation by white supremacists.

        It is very unlikely that this will be a momentary act of stupidity: it is rather more likely that it is a deliberate and calculated threat, particularly as there are active investigations in the US about the possibility that the extreme right have lynched an activist who was campaigning against racism and neo-Nazi affiliated organisations in the US.

      4. Why would you give them the benefit of the doubt? Would you visit auschwitz in an ss uniform?

      5. This is why racism is still going strong. Giving the benefit of the doubt when things are as clear as day.

    5. Jeesh, who could have guessed things would become more polarized.

      1. William Jones
        22nd June 2020, 12:38

        I know full well, whoever did this would do it without a second thought to someone who wasn’t a celebrity. Because I’ve had this done to me. The only change now is that the increased conversation has given this person the confidence to think they can now get away with it in the full glare of the public.

        This is the kind of thing that the “status quo is good enough” crowd refuse to believe goes on. Nothing’s become more polarised, you’ve just seen a side to the world you hadn’t previously been exposed too, the side of the world that black people repeatedly have been telling you exists. Because they are the target of it.

        1. William Jones
          24th June 2020, 8:17

          I’ll apologise here, and anywhere else I’m asked too for assuming that this was the work of a racist, now it’s clear that it’s not.

          I believe the point that I was making still stands, however, that the online discourse is not radicalising anyone or polarizing the topic, only emboldening those who already are that polarised already, giving the extremists courage to say what they really think.

          That said, sorry for the assumption.

      2. Yes, thank goodness.

        1. Yay! Division is good!

          What a strange comment.

          1. Yes, your comment is strange. As it doesn’t refer at all to mine or those I’m responding to. Polarised- nowhere now for the hand -wringers to sit in the middle pretending that can’t see. Time for people to chose a side.

            1. Division fuels animosity and hatred. That’s the whole problem.
              There can be no unity when everyone is backed into opposing corners.

              It is the right of every person to stay impartial in your civil war.
              We see both sides fighting rather than coming together. Without those of us in the middle showing peace and acceptance, it will never end.

            2. Yes I can see your dilemma. Black and white on one side; racists on the other. A noose here, a noose there. Could mean anything.

            3. Thank you, once again, for twisting the intention of my comment and demonstrating exactly the narrow-minded ignorance that leads directly to division and hatred in society.
              There’s no deviation on your narrative, is there?

    6. Neil (@neilosjames)
      22nd June 2020, 12:53

      Beyond revolting. There’s bad, and there’s something like this… I don’t think the NASCAR pit lane is as locked-up and hyper secure as F1, even in Covid times, but I hope they have good CCTV in their garages.

    7. I cant believe anyone who follows F1 and/ or this site acknowleges NASCAR at all. Other than drag racing it’s the most inane motorsport there is. I’d be happy to see it disappear in a fog of it’s own rascist comfort and anachronistic existence.

      1. That’s what I thought too, until I saw “drifiting”, tractor pulls, and X-Games tricks on MX bikes.

      2. GtisBetter (@passingisoverrated)
        22nd June 2020, 15:27

        So things you don’t like should go away?

      3. Not true. I like all motorsport

      4. @elreno It’s motorsport whether you like it or not, and it’s having a decent go at trying to be anti-racist.

    8. I’m encouraged that NASCAR’s official statement indicates the person responsible will be eliminated from the sport. Even if it was done as a “joke” a lifetime ban is an appropriate consequence.

    9. Just so infinitely sad, even if we assume the best (that it was a joke, which I doubt anyone would be that stupid), people should be better than this.

    10. I hope there is no dumbing down of the truth in this investigation. America has a horrific history of black men found hanging from trees & authorities determining suicide was the convenient cause. There is no possible joke excuse, the symbol has/is used to incite terror especially i the south where nascar has it’s origins. Enough.

    11. Josh (@canadianjosh)
      22nd June 2020, 18:02

      This will leave a dark cloud over NASCAR for a long time. The amount of confederate flags outside of the track this weekend but not on the actual race grounds should have been clue number 1 something like this could have happened. And then that idiot who rented the plane to fly a confederate flag by the speedway was clue number 2. Racism is pretty bad everywhere but in the Deep South of the USA, it’s unlike anywhere.

    12. “despicable act of racism and hatred” – succinct and accurate.

      The banned ‘Confederate flag’ is NOT the flag of the Confederacy, it is the flag of the Army of Northern Virginia.

    13. This incident has made me feel physically sick. What on Earth is wrong with people?!

    14. + 1 anyone watching this?
      Real moving stuff, bravo NASCAR; King Richard and Bubba brought a tear to my eyes.

      1. William Sanders
        22nd June 2020, 23:11

        Who would have the most to gain from this act?

        1. No comment…. rolls eyes…

    15. The fact that there are debates happening about this in these comments already shows that the estimates that racism takes more than 7 generations (of actively working against it) to end were probably an underestimation

      1. The story itself saddened me. But seeing the usual names speaking out against progress was the real heartbreaker.

    16. Lol… Obviously it was done by someone within the team as a joke.. I highly anyone really wanted to strangle him

    17. Now that the truth has been revealed, is anyone feeling a little embarrassed?

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