NASCAR betrays the
South � Commentary by Frank Gillispie
France, boss of NASCAR, continues his efforts to turn his back on the
people who drove his organization into a billion dollar business. He told
correspondent Lesley Stahl on 60 Minutes last Sunday, "It�s not a flag
that I look at with anything favorable. That�s for sure," France added
that he cannot tell people what flag to fly but that he does not encourage
the battle flag.
France�s reason for turning his back on his
organization�s Southern Culture is to promote racing to minorities.
"(Reaching out to minorities) is something I work on every day. I work on
it personally �" he said.
In fact, Confederate emblems are already forbidden
from display anywhere NASCAR has control.
"Any area that NASCAR controls at the racetrack, you
will never see the Confederate flag," said NASCAR diversity director Tish
Sheets in a recent interview. "It is not allowed on race cars, driver
uniforms, in the garage area or on any NASCAR-licensed product."
That was made clear several years ago when the Sons
of Confederate Veterans budget funds to sponsor a car. NASCAR refused to
allow the sponsorship even though several teams were struggling to stay in
Now, we in the Southern movement are accustomed to
being attacked by people outside the South. The poor souls have been
misled, miseducated and misdirected into believing that all things
Southern are evil. We are doing everything we can to bring them the truth.
But when it is one of our own who is betraying us, well, that is truly
painful. We have a name for people like that. We call them scalawags.
Brian France is the biggest scalawag of all times.
He knows better. But he is so blinded by greed for money and power, he
willingly turns his back on his own culture in pursuit of ever greater
His betrayal of the South brings to mind a quote
from the Bible: "What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and
loses his soul." NASCAR once stood as a major component of the soul of the
south. But no more.
So what should we do about it? Two strong proposals
appear to be developing in the Southern movement. First is a total boycott
of NASCAR. They are urging Southerners not to spend a dime on any NASCAR
products. That includes tickets, tags, calendars, model cars, clothing or
anything else with a connection to NASCAR, its races, drivers or sponsors.
The other idea is to start a new racing circuit. It
would be called Dixie Racing League, Southern Racing League or some other
appropriate name. There would be several rules: all races will occur
within the fifteen Southern states. The cars must be true stock cars.
Every car will have to be purchased from a dealer's showroom then modified
as needed to achieve speed and safety. And finally the Confederate Battle
Flag would be the official emblem for the league. Every car would be
required to carry a battle flag decal in a prominent position.
Either or both of these ideas would have an impact
on NASCAR�s future profitability. Once they understand that losing their
base will put their entire business at risk, they will be forced to
reconsider their anti South stance.
Meanwhile, the South is full of small and medium
sized tracks where you can find people who race for the love of the sport
almost any weekend. We do not need the big money back stabbers to enjoy
this most Southern of all sports. Let NASCAR go wherever they want to go.
Just give your money and support to those local drivers who deserve it.
Copyright � 2005 by Frank Gillispie
email@example.com, Hull, GA
Frank Gillispie is the founder of the
Madison County Journal
; his Frankly Speaking column
appears in numerous publications.