The Frontstretch: Voices From the Cheap Seats: Discussing The Need For "Diversity" by Jeff Meyer -- Friday May 24, 2013

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At first glance, you may think that I am jealous of people that are more talented than myself, or perhaps I dislike individuals that are multi-faceted but that is not the case.

Jeff Meyer registers his opinion on the need for diversity programs in NASCAR.

The fact is, it is not the people I hate but rather the word! Why do we think we have to walk on eggshells when we (as a society) refer to any individual that is not white? Why can’t we call a heart a heart?! (I would have used the more familiar suit reference of the ‘little dark shovel thingy’ for that phrase but, OMG! NO! That might be racist!) I now present to you, direct from the offices of ‘NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications,’ the thing that has me riled up this week.

NASCAR Diversity Internship Program Kicked Off During All-Star Race Weekend: With eventual landing spots ranging from NASCAR to E! News, the NASCAR Diversity Internship Program has offered diverse students an opportunity to work in one of the largest professional sports industries in the United States. This year, 19 diverse college students will have the opportunity to complete a 10-week, paid summer internship through the NASCAR Diversity Internship Program (NDIP). The program has placed the new crop of students in varying positions and organizations throughout the NASCAR industry with the hopes of finding the next wave of industry leaders.

“Fostering a diverse and inclusive work environment makes us stronger as an organization,” said Marcus Jadotte, NASCAR vice president of public affairs and multicultural development. “For over a decade, the NDIP has created opportunities for multicultural college students to take on substantive projects in our industry to help prepare them up for long-term success after completing college.”
Founded in 2000, the NDIP provides comprehensive involvement in the NASCAR ecosystem by offering internships with teams, tracks, broadcast partners and marketing partners. In addition to the NASCAR, GRAND-AM and American Le Mans Series offices in Daytona Beach, Fla., Charlotte, N.C., Braselton, Ga., and New York, the 2013 interns are working at NASCAR’s partner companies such as Rev Racing, Daytona International Speedway, Taylor Strategy and Octagon.

NDIP has served as a valuable employment pool for NASCAR partners as well as other companies and industries by providing students hands-on experiences across various disciplines, including marketing, engineering, communications, licensing, diversity and public affairs. This year’s class includes five returning students who have demonstrated exceptional skills and dedication across NASCAR in previous years.
The 2013 class began their NASCAR experience with an orientation session during the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C., before departing for their various assignments for the summer.

Source: NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications

“Diverse, multicultural college students?” Really? Why can’t they be called “non-white” or at least “minority!?”

What about the fact that my child (or grandchildren) may be excluded from such opportunities simply because they are not “diverse” or “multicultural?” I mean, heck, I got some German, Danish and perhaps even a bit of Jewish in my veins! How come I don’t get to be special or get special opportunities? I think I may sue!

Another thing that bugs me is the use of “diverse, multicultural college students.” How does this selection come about? Does a flyer go out on campus seeking these people exclusively in their various majors with an asterisk that notes white boys need not apply? Isn’t the vary nature of seeking people out solely based on their race or skin color and giving them special opportunities racist in itself? As for college students, the question comes to my mind…just how many special breaks based on race or ethnic background have these students had already? Now I’m not saying all of them have not worked hard to get where they are and many may be paying their own tuition but, let’s be honest and call a club a club, I’ll bet you’d find the percentage pretty high.

If NASCAR wants to promote diversity and make a difference in young people’s lives, why don’t they scour the various ‘hoods’ located through out any given city? Pluck some bright but otherwise economically trapped youngster off the street and give them a chance they would otherwise never have?

If any college student truly wants to be in a NASCAR related field, they will come. Racism occurs when you seek out those that are different and treat them differently than you would me or mine.

I should be offended but who would care? I’m white so I don’t count.

Stay off the wall,

Jeff “The Minority” Meyer

Contact Jeff Meyer

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05/24/2013 02:44 AM

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Sherri T
05/24/2013 10:46 AM

Dear Jeff,

I know your message isn’t politically correct, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t true!

I agree with you 100%!

Hank L
05/24/2013 11:54 AM

I’ve lived in Mooresville for almost 7 years now and I spent the first 6 of them in the racing business. A buddy of mine who is well thought of in the racing world gave me a tip to talk to John Story when Revolution Racing was moving into what was Braun Racing’s old shop. I talked to them for a while, and later met with them for an “interview” that concluded with an off the record discussion in the parking lot saying I was well qualified, but not what NASCAR was looking for..basically, I’m a white guy.

I’m not racist, and I have no problem with any person who works hard to achieve their goals. But to put someone who isn’t qualified into a position simply because of race/gender/family status is unfair to those who are truly deserving.

It’s the primary reason I’m tired of the Danica Patrick lovefest..Yes, she can drive..she’s a racecar driver! It’s her JOB to not put it in the wall and bring it home…finishing 37th 8 laps down isn’t a “good job” because guys who run a LOT better have been fired for less in the same exact position. Ask David Reutimann what it’s like to run top 20 every week and get handed your walking papers

05/24/2013 01:06 PM

A few comments on your comments, Jeff.

I believe to an extent that you are missing the point, perhaps intentionally. Whites have always had advantages others have not. History lesson, the founding fathers were all Anglo. As far as I know, blacks never owned whites as slaves, and whites never had to sit at the back of a bus in the south. These are facts, not rumors, conjecture or innuendo. What does this have to do with your post? Indirectly, your belief is you and other whites are being “discriminated” against. My belief, as a multiracial American: welcome to my world. I don’t share nor agree with your beliefs. I don’t have a problem with people getting advantages that they may not have had because of their backgrounds if it means leveling an unequal playing field, up to a point.

Having said that, I do have major issues with NASCAR’s “diversity” programs. Why? I don’t believe that the effort is based on a sincere desire to have non-whites in the sport. Rather, it is a desire to have their money and to try to whitewash some of NASCAR’s past actions-including the flying of the Confederate Flag at races. I also believe that if NASCAR were truly sincere, they wouldn’t need to have a specific program for diversity; it would simply happen automatically. The fact that NASCAR promotes it’s “diversity” efforts to me clearly shows that the intent is not sincere. While there will be some who will buy what they’re selling, others like me have not and will not. I am no more of a NASCAR fan now than I was when I first became a racing fan more than 20 years ago. Let me also state that NASCAR’s lame diversity efforts are not the reason I don’t view the sport highly. The reasons have more to do with the management of the sport, the inconsistency of said management, the false claims of superiority-“the best drivers in the world”; which is a factually inaccurate claim; ONLY F1 can claim to have the world’s best drivers as it is the only sport to have a World Champion-and the presence of Princess Sparkle Pony, who thankfully now is NASCAR’s problem and no longer INDYCAR’s cross to bear.

05/24/2013 08:33 PM

Well done Jeff.
Smartestguy I have the feeling you just proved the articles’ point.

Jeff Meyer-FS Staff
05/24/2013 09:12 PM

Dear Smartestguyintheroom,

I hear what you are saying and you make an eloquent argument…however..

Maybe sometime in the past some of my kin owned some of your kin, I don’t know. Maybe my granddad got to sit where ever he wanted while you’re granddad had to sit in the back of the same bus, I don’t know. The point is, it is in the PAST! It didn’t affect you, and it doesn’t affect me. As a white anglo, I refuse to be held accountable for the sins of white anglo past.

Those wrongs have been righted by the blood and/or determination of possibly both our kin.

I don’t care if you are black, white, yellow, red, green or purple…just be a MAN/PERSON and get over it already.

Stand tall and even with me and lets just be people!

As always, I truly appreciate your feedback and the fact that you did it in a tactful manner and not filled with hate and or rhetoric. Thanks for being a fan!

Jeff Meyer

(side note) the original submitted headline for this article was “Diverse” People Make Me Sick

Just throwing that out there so the first paragraph of the article makes sense!


Contact Jeff Meyer

Recent articles from Jeff Meyer:

Voices From The Cheap Seats: The Tale Of Two Tires
BSNews! Bruton’s Plans Extend Beyond Bristol’s Track
Top Ten Reasons Fans Failed To Show Up At Bristol Sunday
BSNews! NASCAR CEO Given "Special" Award Amidst Lavish Fanfare
Fan Coun-ci-What? Just What Is It That NASCAR Wants To Study?

Want to know more about Jeff Meyer or view his complete article archives? Then hop on over to his archive and bio page.