Jeff Meyer · Friday May 24, 2013
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.
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
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