Was Bubba Wallace just looking for corporate sponsors?
One of the rules of thumb in 2020 America is that, if you hear about a racist incident, you should refrain from commenting for 48 hours. That's why I kept mum about the claim that a racist hung a noose in a garage space assigned to black racecar driver Bubba Wallace in Talladega, Alabama, the premier NASCAR track.
Sure, that might have been what happened, but the story also had a whiff of Jussie Smollett about it. Alternatively, the story had a whiff of race-based hysteria about it. I was going to hold my fire until the FBI had a chance to say something.
Today, the FBI did have its say, and I'm sure American Thinker readers won't be surprised to learn that no one left a noose in Bubba Wallace's garage space. This whole furor, which the leftists used to good effect to tar NASCAR and Alabama, was about a permanent knotted cord put in place to open and close the garage door.
To appreciate what happened here, a short timeline is useful:
On June 13, 2020, the Associated Press wrote an article complaining that corporate America, which has been stumbling over itself for weeks to show how non-racist and woke it is, is neglecting Bubba Wallace, one of the top-level NASCAR drivers:
Bubba Wallace can count Spike Lee and Demi Lovato in his corner since he became the leader of NASCAR's push for change.
Where he has failed to find support is from corporate America.
Wallace is the only black full-time driver at NASCAR's top level and has had to scrap for sponsorship money his entire career. Since he has taken a prominent role as an activist — successfully calling on NASCAR to ban Confederate flags at its events and leading the conversation among his peers about racial equality — the only new friends Wallace has are celebrities and fans.
Wallace, 26, was widely praised at Wednesday night's race for running a Black Lives Matter paint scheme on the iconic No. 43 made famous by Hall of Famer Richard Petty, his boss. The opportunity for RPM to support Wallace with the paint scheme was possible only because no other corporation had bought the hood space to advertise.
On June 17, a noose showed up in Marcus Garvey Park in New York. Everyone responded with appropriate horror. The City, which broke the story, adequately represents the psychic pain:
Someone hung a noose inside Marcus Garvey Park — and now the NYPD is trying to figure out who put up the symbol of hate in the heart of the Harlem oasis.
The noose turned out to be left over from a construction scaffold:
Police say the item that many thought was a noose in Marcus Garvey Park in Harlem was actually rope left over from a construction scaffold. The story was first reported on "The City" website. pic.twitter.com/C7LnAU9rGH— Spectrum News NY1 (@NY1) June 17, 2020
Also on June 17, the city of Oakland, California suffered the trauma of discovering "several nooses" hanging in trees:
A hate crime investigation is underway after several nooses were found hanging from trees in Oakland, California.
The nooses were found around the area of Lake Merritt and have been removed, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said in a tweet on Wednesday. Officers found a total of five ropes attached to various trees during a search of the area on Tuesday, according to Oakland Police Department.
"Symbols of racial violence have no place in Oakland and will not be tolerated," Schaaf said in a statement posted on Twitter. She added that the incident will be investigated as hate crimes.
Those seeking racial hate in Oakland were once again disappointed when it turned out that, not only were these exercise ropes, not nooses, but a black man had hung them up. Strangely, the truth did not stop Oakland's white mayor, Libby Schaaf, from insisting that they were, in fact, hate crime nooses and ordering their removal:
Victor Sengbe, who is black, told KGO-TV that the ropes were part of a rigging that he and his friends used as part of a larger swing system. He also shared video of the swing in use.
Schaaf said officials must "start with the assumption that these are hate crimes." However, the mayor and Nicholas Williams, the city's director of parks recreation, also said it didn't matter whether the ropes were meant to send a racist message.
"Intentions don't matter when it comes to terrorizing the public," Schaaf said. "It is incumbent on all of us to know the actual history of racial violence, of terrorism, that a noose represents and that we as a city must remove these terrorizing symbols from the public view."
"The symbolism of the rope hanging in the tree is malicious regardless of intent. It's evil, and it symbolizes hatred," Williams said.
And it's in this climate of racial hysteria that we find ourselves in Talladega, Alabama, on June 21, the day that Bubba suddenly discovered a noose in his garage bay:
NASCAR said late Sunday that a noose was found in the garage stall of Bubba Wallace at the NASCAR race in Talladega.
Wallace is the only full-time African American driver in NASCAR's elite Cup Series. Less than two weeks ago, he successfully pushed for NASCAR to ban the Confederate flag at its tracks and properties.
NASCAR, of course, did the expected virtue-signaling:
NASCAR said it has begun an investigation into the noose.
"Late this afternoon, NASCAR was made aware that a noose was found in the garage stall of the 43 team. We are angry and outraged, and cannot state strongly enough how seriously we take this heinous act," NASCAR said in a statement. "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 was in pain, great pain:
— Bubba Wallace (@BubbaWallace) June 22, 2020
While Wallace may have experienced pain, he was also discovering fame. His story was everywhere, and suddenly he was a hot commodity on leftist TV outlets, from CNN to The View.
Some, though, wondered. Footage emerged from 2017 showing that every single garage bay at Talladega has a "noose" hanging from the door. These nooses are, in fact, handles to help pull the door down. If you watch the video below, you'll see those "nooses" all over the place. The Conservative Treehouse has some helpful screen grabs, too.
And sure enough, those doubts proved true when the FBI announced that no one had targeted Bubba or, as I like to say, no noose is good noose:
"On Monday, fifteen FBI special agents conducted numerous interviews regarding the situation at Talladega Superspeedway," the joint statement from U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town and FBI Special Agent in Charge Johnnie Sharp, Jr. "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."
For Wallace, though, as with Oakland's Mayor Schaaf and her Parks & Rec henchman Nicholas, facts are irrelevant. Just like the famous 1928 New Yorker cartoon showing a little moppet sitting in front of a plate of broccoli and announcing firmly, "I say it's spinach and I say the hell with it," Wallace is doubling down on his feelz:
"I've been racing all of my life, we've raced out of hundreds of garages that never had garage pulls like that. ... It's a straight up noose."— Jordan Heck (@JordanHeckFF) June 24, 2020
Bubba Wallace to Don Lemon. pic.twitter.com/HnJYpbPrlZ
When Bubba's noose first hit the press, it was possible to believe that he really was a victim. However, his refusal to accept facts shows that Bubba isn't a trailblazer at all. He's just another race hustler and it's now possible to believe that he seized upon the garage pull as a way to get himself that corporate sponsorship he lacked.