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NASCAR Has a 'Diversity Internship' That White People Are Banned from Applying For: 'Blatantly Illegal'

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As a person whose first word was “car,” who can tell you offhand how many victories stock car legend Richard Petty scored (exactly 200), where Formula One icon Ayrton Senna’s first win came (the rain-soaked 1985 Portuguese Grand Prix) and the only drivers who have won four Indianapolis 500s (A.J. Foyt, Al Unser Sr., Rick Mears and Helio Castroneves), I think I’m qualified to make this statement with a certain amount of authority:

NASCAR stinks and is in terminal decline.

I think I’ve proved I’m not one of those “they just turn left! I could do that!” or “I only watch for the crashes” people. I don’t labor under the misapprehension the only names allowed for drivers are “Dale” or “Rusty.” In fact, I used to love the sport beyond all reason for a kid raised in the baseball-crazed New York City suburbs. Other kids had Don Mattingly or Derek Jeter posters on their walls; I went with Darrell Waltrip.

However, the constantly shifting rules of the series have become ever more convoluted without any perceptible benefit. The racing itself has become more boring. A playoff system has made most of the regular season meaningless, and the drivers have been reduced to personality-free, self-parodying corporate shills that make parts of “Talladega Nights” look like a documentary, not a comedy. (“I just thank the Lord the Texaco Havoline Monster Energy Lowe’s Home Improvement Chevrolet Camaro was running real good today …”)

Furthermore, any fan who watches the sport with any regularity knows 1) that this is why NASCAR is in trouble and 2) that the people running the sport are to blame. But, if the people running the sport had any self-awareness, it wouldn’t be this way in the first place — so, lo and behold, they seem to have a different explanation: their fan base is too white, too male, too Southern, too conservative and too blue-collar.

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The sport has practically tripped over itself to try and change this — again, without any perceptible benefit.

The thoroughly unready Danica Patrick, whose skills translated poorly from IndyCar to NASCAR, was given way more chances than anyone as bad as she was would have gotten in the sport if they weren’t a female. (Oh, sorry, my bad: birthing person.)

Bubba Wallace, despite being significantly more talented inside a stock car than Patrick ever was, has been given promotion far exceeding what his on-track record would normally warrant, all simply because of his skin color.

Will you boycott NASCAR?

And, with an eye toward this kind of “ESG on ovals” strategy being the future of the sport, NASCAR has hyped up its “Drive for Diversity” initiative — “a developmental program designed to provide training and opportunities for women and minorities in the driver’s seat and on pit crews within the NASCAR industry,” according to the website.

“Top minority and female drivers are provided with coaching, mentoring and development, bringing together championship caliber executives, competition staff and equipment” in one of the sport’s lower divisions, according to the description.

This apparently sounds great to NASCAR executives longing to shed the sport’s negative reputation among progressives. To a lawyer that conservative outlet The Daily Wire talked to, this sounds “blatantly illegal.”

According to David Bernstein, a professor at George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia School of Law, a requirement for a paid “diversity internship” under the Drive for Diversity program that requires an applicant to “[b]e a member of one or more of the following races/ethnic minority classifications” — all of them pretty much anything except white — would “seem to violate Title VII and the 1866 Civil Rights Act.”

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“Having a 100 percent quota for minorities for a position is illegal even under a very generous view of what is allowed,” Bernstein said, adding that a rejected applicant who didn’t fit those qualifications would have standing to sue.

While other Drive for Diversity programs aren’t quite so explicit, at least on the website, it’s the latest sign that the sport has embraced wokeness — potentially to an illegal degree — to cure its woes.

In addition to Bubba Wallace and all his various sociopolitical kerfuffles — most notably a report of a “noose” hanging outside of his pit garage in 2020 that was actually a garage door pull rope that had been there from a previous race and clearly couldn’t have been targeted at the driver — driver Noah Gragson was suspended earlier this month for liking a George Floyd meme that NASCAR officials felt didn’t treat the Minneapolis man’s death with sufficient gravity.

Also, in 2020, one of the series’ top drivers was suspended for the entire season for using a racial slur — the dreaded n-bomb, in fact — on a gaming livestream. That suspension was a bit more justified, I’d say. However, I merely mention it because the guy who received the suspension for the slur, series champion Kyle Larson, is considered the most successful graduate of the Drive for Diversity program — having qualified due to his Asian-American background, according to Autoweek.

Whoops.

Even if this doesn’t get struck down in court and Drive to Diversity provides a pipeline of multiracial, multiethnic, multigendered talent, it still fixes nothing that’s wrong with the sport.

In addition to the silly playoff rules, NASCAR has also introduced “segment wins” in recent years, giving drivers points for their position at certain intervals during the race and making the whole scoring system about as complicated as flying a Cessna.

Formula One, once considered too convoluted for American audiences, has made inroads thanks to Netflix’s popular “Drive to Survive” documentary series; it’s also managed to have a seven-time black world champion in Lewis Hamilton without having to resort to racially discriminatory internship and driver-development programs.

And, unlike every other racing series that gearheads can tune into on any given weekend, NASCAR seems to have such visceral contempt for its fan base that it’s willing to potentially break anti-discrimination laws on the gamble that it’ll entice a new set of woke sports watchers to tune in.

Unfortunately, they’re going to notice the same thing this lifetime NASCAR watcher has: No matter what the color, gender or politics of the driver in the car may be, the racing still stinks. And thanks to the new emphasis on progressive politics at the expense of entertainment and competition, the sanctioning body may as well just put Bud Light decals on the side of every car, no matter who the actual sponsor may be.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Birthplace
Morristown, New Jersey
Education
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture




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