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Scott Thompson: A noose is a symbol of hate for the Black community, no matter how it’s used

Click to play video: 'NASCAR’s Bubba Wallace says item found in his garage was unequivocally a noose'
NASCAR’s Bubba Wallace says item found in his garage was unequivocally a noose
The noose found in NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace‘s garage stall on Sunday has been deemed a garage door pull, federal authorities and NASCAR confirmed Tuesday. But in an interview with CBS News on Wednesday morning, Wallace said the item found in his garage "was in fact a noose." – Jun 24, 2020

The story of NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace, the only Black driver in the series, and his courageous journey manoeuvering the sport beyond its roots in the southeastern United States has drawn the support of many — and also brought out the worst in others.

Inspired by the outcry after the tragic May 25 death of George Floyd, Wallace said publicly that it’s time to remove the Confederate Flags, which often fly in the infield campgrounds, reminding fans of a symbol of great pain for members of the Black community.

Read more: Noose or not, Bubba Wallace thanks NASCAR community for ‘show of unity’

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Wallace also ran a Black Lives Matter paint scheme at the next race, replacing the historic #43 Richard Petty blue — a tradition as old as NASCAR.

For his convictions, he received death threats that ignited a social media firestorm about the sport.

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At the following race in Alabama — the first at which 5,000 fans were allowed to attend — honking trucks drove by outside the front gates flying Confederate Flags in protest, while a plane flew overhead trailing a Confederate Flag banner with the words “defund NASCAR.”

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But the lowest of the low was when a crewmember found a noose in the garage stall that housed Wallace’s car.

Outrage followed both throughout the ranks of the sport and beyond, resulting in all drivers and crew walking behind Wallace’s car in solidarity as it was pushed out onto the grid before the race.

A later investigation, which included the FBI, concluded that the noose was there last year hanging from a garage door, and had been used to pull it down.

The investigation concluded that it was a coincidence that Wallace’s car ended up in that garage race weekend and was not considered a planned hate crime.

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Read more: NASCAR drivers rally around Bubba Wallace after noose found in his garage stall

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Some feel NASCAR was vindicated because the rope was not put there intentionally to refer to Wallace and his current stance.

Maybe so, but a noose is still a symbol of hate against the Black community, and the fact it was there for over a year with no one noticing, is just as insidious.

The noose is as much a symbol of pain for the Black community as the Confederate Flag is, if not more so.

The fact that it was used to pull down a garage door, and that nobody batted an eyelash for a year, is just another example of how far we need to go.

Scott Thompson is the host of The Scott Thompson Show on Global News Radio 900 CHML Hamilton.​​​​

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