might appear on a van
might appear on a van. It is telling that the media response is often to deny racism within the sport or society as a whole. In this case, as with so many others, we cannot even fathom or imagine the “reversal.”
Can you imagine if NASCAR was Black? It seems pretty impossible. Given the entrenched Whiteness of NASCAR; given how symbols of Whiteness are as important to NASCAR as the cars themselves; given how important White masculinity is to the sport and how it gives life to the very culture of NASCAR, it is hard to imagine it any other way. NASCAR without Whiteness is just a car going fast in circles.
David J. Leonard is Associate Professor in the Department of Critical Culture, Gender and Race Studies at Washington State University, Pullman. He is author of After Artest: Race and the War on Hoop (SUNY Press, spring 2012).