NASCAR owners Richard Petty and Richard Childress have taken a stand. If either one employ you, and you’re caught kneeling before a NASCAR event, you’re free to protest, but you may now do it on your own time.
I am not speaking for NASCAR, I am not speaking for All Left Turns, I am speaking for myself. To Richard Petty, to Richard Childress….thank you. What I saw last Sunday at the NFL game in London made my blood boil. After following that league for 32 years, I am done. Those men spit in the face of my country.
Let’s be clear: racism exists, and it’s a stain on the human race. The idea that one human being is superior to another based on skin color is ludicrous. Strip away that skin, and we all bleed the same color. I believe we all have a common point of origin. What makes one better than another is what they do, the content of their character.
In America, we have laws to protect against racism. The overwhelming majority of Americans treat one another with respect and dignity. Side by side, we work together, we play together, we pray together. While there are unenlightened neanderthals who claim themselves superior due to pigmentation, people of differing skin colors are not rounded up and slaughtered for simply being.
The point I’m getting at is this: while there are racist people in the USA, America is not a racist country. By taking a knee during the display of our country’s flag and our National Anthem is a swipe at OUR country. Furthermore, it infers that those who defend or who have defended our country have done so for an unworthy cause. As the son and son-in-law of veterans, it makes me seethe.
Now, I won’t disagree with Dale Earnhardt Jr. in that if you disagree, you have a right to protest. We have the right to do a lot of things. Now whether or not we have the freedom to engage in such activities on the job is another story. I am quite sure that the newspaper once worked for would have taken a dim view of leaving the office in the middle of the day to participate in a Tea Party rally. I am also sure I am caught flipping the bird at some political figure as they enter the VA rehab center across the street from my office while wearing a shirt with a company logo, I’d be in a heap of trouble. There is a time and place for everything.
If someone perceives injustice, they should do something about it- including protest. But think about it; was the choice of sitting and kneeling was very poorly chosen. Here’s a better idea: take that fame and use it for diplomacy. Bring the law enforcement and minority community together to create an air of understanding, so that a black man does not feel targeted merely by his skin color. Let’s talk to the minority community to ensure them that law enforcement is on their side, and that if there’s a bad apple within the police force, that officer is taken off the street in no uncertain terms.
Of course, I think the possibility of anyone affiliated with a NASCAR team kneeling during the anthem sits somewhere between slim and none. Good.
As for NASCAR and owners Richard Childress and Richard Petty- thank you for speaking out. Some won’t like it, and by writing this, some won’t like me either. Just remember the First Amendment works two ways.