He made it to the big leagues but not quite to the top. That’s as true for Bubba Wallace’s career as a NASCAR driver as it is for his foray into racial martyrdom. The “noose” said to be found in his team’s garage – left as a heinous act of hatred against the only black driver in NASCAR – was not at all a noose placed there for Mr. Wallace’s terror. Its obvious purpose should have prevented the tarnishing of millions as racists. Bubba seems unconcerned that race-hate had nothing to do with it and continues to use the incident to elevate himself and woke politics.
As the details emerge, the story has become more about what seems like intentional victim seeking rather than real misunderstanding. “We are angry and outraged, and cannot state strongly enough how seriously we take this heinous act.” That’s how NASCAR described the incident in its first statement. It said, “a noose was found in the garage stall of the 43 team.” Heinous indeed. There could only be one reason to leave a noose in the black man’s garage – instill terror of racial violence.
Second Place Is First Loser
The reaction by the racing organization, as well as seemingly anyone who heard about it, was enthusiastic support for the victim, Bubba Wallace. He was able to experience something he had never before – to see his car in the lead. As an on-track unity display, Wallace was allowed to lead the pack pre-race. Aside from one remarkable second-place finish in the 2018 Daytona 500, Bubba has been a resounding disappointment as a racecar driver. Perhaps that’s because of the color of his skin, not his racing skill, got him to the big leagues.
Bubba Wallace was hired as part of the company’s “Drive for Diversity” program. Wallace seems now determined to make his race, rather than racing, the biggest part of his career. Being a celebrity is much easier than winning races. The very same group that has supporting Wallace – NASCAR fans – were demonized as racists, especially those in Alabama home to the Talladega Superspeedway, where the alleged noose appeared. All because no one knows a damn thing about knots.
King of Knots
A noose’s single most important and necessary feature is that the knot slides. Merriam Webster says it’s a “loop with a slipknot that binds closer the more it is drawn.” The knot is useful for many things, but for those of us who don’t tie knots often, except for our shoelaces, it will likely always be associated with hanging at least, if not outright lynching. That’s why it was called a noose, repeatedly, because of the power of that knot. The noose is, however, not worth much as a pull on the end of a rope.
If you take a look at this photo, you can see the loop at the end of the rope – fashioned to aid a person in pulling down a garage door. That was the “noose” alleged to have “been found” in the garage. Mr. Wallace said it was found “hanging over my car” on Don Lemon’s CNN show after the FBI declared no crime was committed. Is it a wonder no photo of the knot was released? That’s what kicked the skepticism into high gear. Virulent anti-black racism is so seldom seen in the U.S. outside of internet chatrooms, that it often has to be invented. From the infamous Jussie Smollett fraud to the often-seen stories of racist graffiti – found later to be written by blacks – it’s no wonder fantastic claims yield such inquiry. Here, the area with millions of dollars in racecars and equipment is highly restricted and well-surveilled. Where were the pictures, the video we could all spread on social media of the racist in action?
The rope in the photo is tied in a bowline knot. The picture above is from October of 2019, proving this had nothing whatsoever to do with Bubba. Here’s a video from a race-day tour of the same garage facility, in 2017, where many of the doors’ pull-ropes have bowlines. Sundance, the nom de cyber of the main contributor at Conservative Treehouse, is a Jedi at media deconstruction, especially of racially charged stories. He was on the story early and asking about the garage pull, and what happens next shows you there was more to the story than a simple search to find out about a “noose.”
Sundance began a twitter exchange with Matt Weaver, a national motorsports journalist who reported on the story and has access to senior NASCAR officials. Weaver first reported in reply and disdain, “I shouldn’t have to say this, but NASCAR confirmed that it wasn’t a garage door pull down rope.” The implication, of course, is that it would be silly if all this were over a garage pull. No, this was serious. Sundance asked again – this time with the photos. The response:
That’s NASCAR CEO, Steve Phelps. Bubba Wallace told his interviewers on the View and CNN that Phelps entered his trailer in tears, struggling over every word, as he informed Wallace of the “noose.” This CEO of a billion-dollar brand didn’t look at the rope or ask to see a photo of it? Wallace said that he thought Phelps’ speech informing him of the knot was the hardest thing Phelps had ever done.
When presented with more photos of the garage area, indicating that is where the “noose” was, Mr. Weaver blocked Sundance on the twitter platform. Of course.
Mr. Wallace is of mixed race. His father is white, and his mom is black. He initially stated: “this just shows how much further we have to go as a sport, but also as a nation, too – on a global level as well …” Even if it were a noose, the overflowing support from all corners of society would seem to mean the opposite. This shows that – aside from the actions of the racist criminal who left the noose – society rejects racism and racist attacks. Not for Wallace. He still insists, “it was a noose.” Bubba Wallace is indeed famous now, but not for being a successful racecar driver. No, now he’s a professional victim.
Read more from Scott D. Cosenza.