Skip to comments.NASCAR Called 'Bastion of White Supremacy'
Posted on 06/25/2003 3:13:14 AM PDT by kattracks
Chicago (CNSNews.com) - A board member of Jesse Jackson's Rainbow/PUSH Coalition says auto-racing organizations such as NASCAR (National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing) are "the last bastion of white supremacy" in professional sports.
Speaking Tuesday at the 32nd annual Rainbow/PUSH Coalition Conference in Chicago, Bill Shack said, "I want you to know that this is this last bastion of white supremacy in a particular sport. This is the last bastion."
He made the comments at a workshop called "Motor Sports: Increasing Minority Participation," and the criticism came despite NASCAR's six-figure support of Jackson's organization.
Shack suggested that race-car organizations don't reach out to minorities because they "don't particularly...want you out there, no more than they wanted Tiger [golfer Tiger Woods] out there."
This has "nothing to do with a moral response -- nothing at all, because they don't have very much of that. If they did, they would have done something before now," Shack said, referring to outreach efforts by auto racing organizations.
Ironically, NASCAR was a "platinum" sponsor of Jackson's 2002 Rainbow/PUSH Coalition's annual conference, and it reportedly has donated at least $250,000 to Jackson's group in recent years. It remained unclear whether NASCAR served as a sponsor of this year's conference.
'Appeasement doesn't pay'
One critic of Jesse Jackson who is leading an effort to end NASCAR's financial support of Rainbow/PUSH said this just proves that "appeasement doesn't pay."
Peter Flaherty, president of the National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC), told CNSNews.com, "NASCAR kicks in all this money to Jackson's groups, sends representatives to Jackson's conference, and they still get attacked as "white supremacists.'"
"NASCAR is finding out the hard way that appeasing Jesse Jackson doesn't work. The more you give him, the more he demands," Flaherty added.
The NLPC is the Washington, D.C.-based legal watchdog group that filed a formal complaint about Jackson's finances with the Internal Revenue Service in 2001.
NLPC's campaign to end NASCAR's support of Jackson has created a "political firestorm" for NASCAR, according to the weekly auto sports publication NASCAR Winston Cup Scene. NASCAR has defended its donations to Jackson as part of its efforts to bring more minority participation to motor sports.
'Mandated sensitivity training'
George Pyne, NASCAR's chief operating officer, arrived at the workshop shortly after Shack's diatribe against auto racing. Pyne told the workshop that NASCAR is vigorously reaching out to minorities.
Pyne cited the organization's "mandated sensitivity training" for all employees as well as NASCAR's efforts to reach "a diverse audience" through its diversity council, intern programs and college tours.
Pyne was most proud of the fact that his organization has hired a woman who formerly worked at a Denny's restaurant."
"You know Denny's was ranked the worst in the country in the area of diversity," but after a concerted effort, went from "worst to first." Denny's efforts at minority outreach followed highly publicized racial discrimination allegations.
Pyne cautioned, "Real progress comes slow, but we are looking for sustained results."
However, one woman in the crowd took exception to Pyne's concept of "slow results" and told him that Denny's turned itself around in 18 months because it made a serious commitment to diversity. She said NASCAR could do the same thing if it really wanted to.
'I am seeing confederate flags'
African-American professional drag racer Rikkia Mills was not impressed with Pyne's presentation on behalf of NASCAR.
"I think that [NASCAR is] doing it for money reasons, not for the right reasons," she said.
The 21-year-old Mills criticized motor sports as a "good ole boy network" that has not welcomed her. "I have a double negative as a black a female...they are not looking for black females," Mills said.
She also expressed hostility for some of NASCAR's fans. "When I watched NASCAR on TV, I saw people holding confederate flags. I am not going to go somewhere where I am seeing confederate flags all the time," Mills said.
'Public relations fiasco'
The National Legal and Policy Center's Flaherty predicted that NASCAR's appearance at Jackson's conference and the treatment it received there would further add to what he called NASCAR's "public relations fiasco."
"NASCAR fans have objected to NASCAR's support for Jackson by the thousands. When is NASCAR going to understand that Jesse Jackson has nothing to offer them?" Flaherty asked.
When CNSNews.com asked NASCAR's Pyne about the company's involvement with Jackson, he refused to respond.
"I don't have anything to say," Pyne told CNSNews.com.
The program for this year's Rainbow/PUSH conference does not list NASCAR as a sponsor, but Pyne's nametag at the event bore a "sponsor" ribbon on it.
When specifically asked if NASCAR was a sponsor of the Rainbow/PUSH conference, Pyne again refused to answer and walked away.
Jackson spokeswoman Keiana Peyton could not clear up the mystery as to whether NASCAR was a sponsor. Peyton said she believed NASCAR was a sponsor but could not immediately confirm it.
Flaherty views NASCAR's refusal to clarify its sponsorship as another example of how "NASCAR is playing games" with the public over its support of Jackson.
Jackson personally blasted the National Legal and Policy Center's campaign to end NASCAR's support of his organization in an interview in May, accusing the group of "hate baiting."
"These attacks by the [National Legal &] Policy Center, these are unending attacks...they have nothing to do with what we do," Jackson told the weekly newspaper NASCAR Winston Cup Scene. The publication is independent of NASCAR.
"Dr. Martin Luther King was called a communist, he was called a nigger, he was hated, he was killed. This kind of hate-baiting is really a perversion," Jackson said of the NLPC.
But despite Jackson's harsh attacks on NLPC, Flaherty vowed to continue his campaign to pressure NASCAR to end its support of Jackson.
"Our protest will continue until NASCAR comes clean and stops supporting Jesse Jackson," he said.
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well a big ole redneck yee-haw atcha jesse. maybe the problem is that you are PUSHing when you should be revving.
Or horse racing. Can you just visualize Shaquille O'Neal on a horse coming out the gate at the Kentucky Derby?
BIG mistake. NASCAR showed Jessie the inside of their wallets. They should have just told him to pound salt, go ahead and boycott them. Not like there are that many black NASCAR fans, and those that are probably don't care about Jessie's opinion anyway.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The only black driver to win at NASCAR's highest level never got a proper celebration in Victory Lane.-Eric
Wendell Scott beat the field in a 200-mile race in 1963, but as the story goes, NASCAR officials were worried about how the predominantly white crowd in Jacksonville might react to seeing a black man hoist the winner's trophy.
Buck Baker was declared the winner, and only after two hours of review -- with the crowd long gone -- was a "scoring error'' detected and Scott named the official winner.
No, no, no - this is too much like the U. of Mich. point system, which uses a rigid numbering scheme. Should give lead laps based on something like "hardship suffered as a child", or "from a poor family".
If I were nascar, and pursuing diversity goals, I'd just start giving some of the older nascars to inner-city youth.
You know, who even cares? Maybe Asians should start protesting their lack of representation in most sports. Perhaps whites & others should begin protesting black domination of professional football and basketball.
Maybe everybody ought to just quit whining.
I'm pretty disgusted with NASCAR for caving to Jesse's blackmail, though.
"Freedom of Association" is dead.
Every professional sport must conform to quotas that accurately represent that race/ethnic groups' percentage of population in America. This means that MLB baseball teams will have to be 70% white, 13% Hispanic, 12% black, 4% Asian and 1% Native American. So at any one time, on the field, a baseball team must have 6 white guys, 1 black guy, 1 hispanic and 1 Asian/Native American. Same for the NBA. I want 3 whites on the basketball court at all times with 1 black and 1 hispanic. This WILL BE MANDATORY. NFL? 7 white guys, 2 black guys, 2 hispanics and 1 Asian/Native American, alternating out once in awhile with a black guy or a hispanic guy.
Hey...this only seems fair and we want to promote accurate diversity in professional sports.
That, I would PAY to see...
Sounds to me like NASCAR should be forced to pay reparations to all black drivers.
...Wendell Scott ... Buck Baker...
Well, at least these folks are honored on tv promos during "Black History Month", like those Tuskeegee airplane flyers.
I'm not a huge fan of NASCAR, but I always watch the beginning of each race. The NASCAR and their fans are some of the most patriotic people in this country. I love the whole "hoopla" at the beginning. There's nothing wrong with praying before a sporting event and having our military jets fly over. I better stop writing now before I decide to start a lettter campaign to Jesse to clog up his email and fax. UGH!