TWILIGHT ZONE – There is probably not a whole lot of surprise at how this story has unfolded. Whether that says more about people, or about the way media blows up stories is an open question.
Drivers and crews all held a very PR friendly walk of solidarity with NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace, after it was reported that a noose was found hanging in the sport’s only black driver’s garage bay a week after he ran a race in a Black Lives Matter decorated car.
The FBI was called…THE FBI…to investigate a potential hate crime. They quickly determined that the ‘noose’ found in Wallace’s garage bay was merely a garage door pull rope that has been there since 2019.
The FBI statement:
“On Monday, fifteen FBI special agents conducted numerous interviews regarding the situation at Talladega Superspeedway. After a thorough review of the facts and evidence surrounding this event, we have concluded that no federal crime was committed.
The FBI learned that garage number 4, where the noose was found, was assigned to Bubba Wallace last week. The investigation also revealed evidence, including authentic video confirmed by NASCAR, that the noose found in garage number 4 was in that garage as early as October 2019. Although the noose is now known to have been in garage number 4 in 2019, nobody could have known Mr. Wallace would be assigned to garage number 4 last week.”
Statement from NASCAR:
“The FBI has completed its investigation at Talladega Superspeedway and determined that Bubba Wallace was not the victim of a hate crime. The FBI report concludes, and photographic evidence confirms, that the garage door pull rope fashioned like a noose had been positioned there since as early as last fall. This was obviously well before the 43 team’s arrival and garage assignment. We appreciate the FBI’s quick and thorough investigation and are thankful to learn that this was not an intentional, racist act against Bubba. We remain steadfast in our commitment to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for all who love racing.”
Wallace reportedly never saw it. Someone else did, removed it, and then told him they found a noose. A hoax? Or a sign of the time? Whoever first saw this rope may indeed have thought it was a noose staged in direct threat to Bubba Wallace, but only because they’ve been inundated with this current cultural revolution to view everything as a direct or indirect act of malicious racism.
Wallace, though, combats the notion that this was a garage door pull, bristling at the FBI’s conclusion. He took to soaking up the limelight with Don Lemon to argue it was a ‘straight up noose’ and unlike garage pull he’s ever seen.
Let’s presume that is true, in the worst of ways; that someone tied a rope in a knot like a noose to purposely allude to the lynching black people. Even if that’s all true, the exact rope in question has been hanging there since last year and no one could know Wallace would even be there last weekend.
Of course, we don’t know that at all. A ‘noose’ happens to be one of many ways people tie knots or specific purposes. Believe it or not, lynching and/or demonstrating racism is not the only purpose of such knots.
But that is irrelevant in the end. What is relevant is that there is no hate crime, only a popular hysteria of anti-racism.
Bubba Wallace is not a victim. If, after knowing the facts, he still feels victimized by viewing a picture of a rope tied as a noose, his wokeness may have distorted the honest assessment of his reality as a successful and popular black sports star in a majority white sport. Sometimes that is not enough in an era where victimhood has become a craving for too many.