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Kickin The Tires

OPINION: Hatred and intolerance have no place in society

Photo by Jerry Jordan/Kickin' the Tires

By Jerry Jordan, Editor

TALLADEGA, Al. – We all learned something today – there are racists and bigots outside Talladega Superspeedway but now we know there are racists and bigots amongst our own colleagues in the NASCAR garage, as well.

We don’t know you are. Yet! But you can only hide in the shadows for so long.

What we do know is that whoever you are that left the noose at the No. 43 garage stall of Bubba Wallace – you are an asshole and a racist.

This was not a joke. There is nothing funny about it and my hope is NASCAR finds you and bans you from the sport for the rest of your life. This isn’t something that can be cured by going through a recovery program or sensitivity training. It doesn’t matter what role you play in the sport – support services, crew member, driver, team owner, race official, executive or sponsor – you can never come back because even though everyone is entitled to forgiveness, there is no forgetting what you have done.

The best thing you can do is quietly slither away in the darkness and never return – but you won’t. Most likely, you think you got away with something. Your actions are reprehensible, but you got what you wanted. You made national news but rather than destroy NASCAR, you have brought people together.

NASCAR has come a long way from its past and the programs it has implemented to reach out to minority communities are better than many in the sports or corporate world. Change doesn’t come easy and it is obvious those who are filled with hate still hold some sort of position in the sport. However, they are not welcome here.

As journalists, our job is to report the news accurately and present both sides. We have done that at Kickin’ the Tires and will continue to do that. However, as the editor/founder of this company, I get to share my personal thoughts, as well as, the organization’s official position and there will be no tolerance for racial animus.

Despite what people say about “heritage” there has never been a place for hatred in society. At least, there shouldn’t be. When I was in high school, I interviewed a Ku Klux Klan leader for a story in the school newspaper. He was an old man and he knew his time on Earth was coming to an end. One of the things I asked him was, “Why do you believe what you do?”

He said, “it‘s what I was taught … ”

He also confessed that his way of thinking would one day be ridiculed – it already was but obviously after this latest incident, the exhibition of Confederate Flags and social media posts prove there are still some who believe as he did.

His words have stayed with me. There are plenty of people that I do not like but there are none that I dislike because of their skin color, ethnicity or religious beliefs. To the parents who taught their children to grow up hating others, shame on you. You have truly abused your kids but the cycle must end, now.

In the words of Joey Logano, “Fix your heart, man.”

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