Voices From the Heartland · Jeff Meyer · Thursday May 28, 2009
Writer’s Note: WARNING! The following article contains graphic examples of common sense. If you are offended by common sense, it is advised that you skip reading this article and go entertain yourself with more important things… like watching all those past episodes of American Idol you recorded!
Here I was this week, just sitting here minding my own business and not having a racist thought in my redneck brain (other than plotting to kill the incessantly barking German Shorthair dog belonging to my white trash neighbor, whom I might think better of if they’d shut that damn dog up!) when I came across the following news that I just had to share with the rest of you.
Live! From Miami-Dade County, Florida, where 57.3 percent of the population is Hispanic, 20.7 percent White-non Hispanic, 20.3 percent Black, and “Other” and “Mixed” accounting for a combined 8.4 percent, the National Association for the Advancement of Color People (NAACP) have decided they want to take on NASCAR and its fans if they don’t get their way.
I call this idiotic action against NASCAR, which I will explain in a moment, a “publicity stunt” because when it is all said and done, NASCAR doesn’t have a thing to do with it! The only thing they are guilty of in this case is simply being there.
The real issue arises, again, over the flying of the Southern favorite, the ole “Stars and Bars,” also known as the Confederate Flag… and a city’s Veteran’s Day Parade.
It seems that in 2008, some “colored people” — and I only use the term “colored” because it must be OK if the national association uses it — were “offended and stunned” when groups representing the Sons of Confederate Veterans and other Confederate States organizations went proudly marching by in the annual Veteran’s Day Parade. Of course, these organizations were flying the Stars and Bars the NAACP so strongly condemns.
This dastardly public display prompted the Miami-Dade chapter of the NAACP to petition the local Chamber of Commerce to ban the flag at all future city-endorsed events. At the center of this petition is one Rosemary Fuller, a longtime member of the Miami-Dade NAACP chapter.
As it turns out, Fuller was also the chairperson of the Human Relations Board, a group that was formed by the Homestead City Council to address racial issues in the Homestead/Florida City area. Shortly after Fuller’s friends in the NAACP challenged the Chamber of Commerce to ban the flag, uniforms and other memorabilia associated with the Confederacy, the Homestead City Council, led by Mayor Lynda Bell, voted to abolish the HRB entirely — citing that they were not addressing issues pertinent to the city’s residents. Meanwhile, the Chamber’s directors have said they will recommend to the Military Affairs Committee (a group of the Chamber primarily responsible for the parade) to discontinue it altogether.
“At their monthly meeting on May 21, the Board of Directors of the Greater Homestead/Florida City Chamber of Commerce voted to recommend that its Military Affairs Committee discontinue their 47-year tradition of producing Miami-Dade County’s oldest and largest Veteran’s Day parade,” said Mary Finlan, the Chamber’s executive director. “Members of the board stated that the mission of the parade has been greatly diminished due to the controversy concerning parade participants, causing the focus to shift away from the military men and women it was intended to honor.”
Where does NASCAR fit into all this, you may ask? It doesn’t! But that won’t stop the NAACP and Rosemary Fuller.
“We intend to notify NASCAR about the troubling racial discord we have here in Homestead, and we would like their support,” said Fuller during a recent NAACP meeting held in Florida City. “Right now, we are still in the planning stages, but if NASCAR decides to come here under these conditions, we will meet them at the racetrack.”
Also at the meeting was Miami-Dade NAACP President Victor T. Curry, who, ironically, while attempting to rally the troops sounded more like the usual unintelligible nonsense that NASCAR CEO Brian France usually utters.
“I believe I can speak as president. (Well DUH! What else you going to speak as?) If we come up with an action plan tonight, I believe we can change some things here,” said Curry. “Because if we don’t, it’s going to spread like these wildfires. These Confederates will be marching in the Martin Luther King Parade, and we’ll be marching right along.”
The NAACP says that if they do not get NASCAR’s support, they plan to begin contacting NASCAR sponsors to threaten boycotts and stage protests at the speedway, much in the same way the National Association of Minority Race Fans (NAMRF) attempted to do a few years ago.
“I don’t think an organization like NASCAR, that has so many major sponsors, should bring people here who could be subjected to this type of racism,” added Fuller.
One would assume that, if such a boycott does happen, those sponsors targeted would be the same as the ones supposedly boycotted by NAMRF. (Oddly enough, back then KFC, a big time sponsor, was NOT on their boycott list. We’ll see if the NAACP omits them as well!) One would also assume that the NAACP will not get caught paying and bussing “protesters” in from Texas like NAMRF did!
Meanwhile, NASCAR officials are basically scratching parts of their anatomy wondering just how in the heck any of this concerns them.
“We have not heard from them, and obviously we will be happy to speak with them, but while NASCAR races at the Homestead track, we don’t own it, or any other track, and are quite a bit removed from the situation,” said Ramsey Poston, NASCAR’s Managing Director of Corporate Communications. “Our policy is that the flag and its symbol are prohibited on anything we control. You won’t find it on cars, uniforms, in our promotions, or any of our marketing materials. We have had this policy in place for nearly twenty years. Obviously, it’s a divisive symbol, and we have been very stout about enforcing the policy.”
And so the circus goes. Now, before I get down to brass tacks and explain that the only bigots here, in my opinion, are the NAACP themselves, consider this last quote by the scorned, stunned, and offended Rosemary Fuller.
“The parade is to honor those who served this country, not those who fought against it, and they are not the only ones that can put on a parade,” she said. “No one is more of a patriot than I am, but we will not tolerate the Confederate flag flying over us again.”
Well, enough of the BS; let’s get down to the nitty gritty!
The real problem here is the Civil War itself. It was like no other. The simple and plain truth is that those who died in it, whether they died under the Union flag or the Confederate flag, ALL of them were Americans fighting for their ideals and principles.
It was sometimes brother against brother, family against family, but always AMERICAN AGAINST AMERICAN!!!! Those boys that died under the Stars and Bars have just as much right to be remembered as those that didn’t! This is a free country, one where you are allowed to fly whatever flag you want.
Why, just look at you, Miami-Dade Chapter of the NAACP, you represent a demographic segment of the populace that is outnumbered in your area by almost three to one (same for us white folk, see stats at the beginning of the article) yet you want to impose YOUR will upon the majority! Who’s the bigot now? Get over it already!
Another stark reality of the past is this: That Stars and Bars that so deeply offends you… if your ancestors were truly under its authority… chances are, if you dig deep enough, some of them white boys who died for it are related to you too!
We no longer have colored drinking fountains, dining areas, sections of buses or things of that nature in this country. Isn’t it about time we drop the “Colored” from the NAACP?
Why can’t we have the National Association for the Advancement of just plain People? My goodness! How more far advanced can you get than the Presidency?!
Stay off the wall,
Jeff Meyer (White guy, non-Southerner, American, and still proud of it!)
NEW YEAR? NEW NEWSLETTER. LOOKING FOR THE INFO YOU NEED ABOUT NASCAR IN 2013 – SENT RIGHT TO YOUR EMAIL INBOX?
Well, you’ve come to the right place. The Frontstretch Newsletter gives you more of the daily news, commentary, and racing features from your favorite writers you know and love. Don’t waste another minute – click here to sign up and get all the information you need. We’re here to make sure you stay informed … so make sure you jump on for the ride!
©2000 - 2008 Jeff Meyer and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!