Like clockwork, no? This is easily the most predictable outcome of NASCAR’s faceplant over a noose that turned out to be a garage-door pull cord. Despite an FBI investigation involving 15 agents that concluded that there was no racial animus involved and no connection to Bubba Wallace, Al Sharpton isn’t ready to let it go.
Which will surprise exactly no one:
Sharpton not ready to give up on the NASCAR “noose” story: "It’s clear what a noose represents … And then did someone know that it was in the stall when they did belatedly assign Bubba there? … I do not think that we’ve seen closure in this particular inquiry." pic.twitter.com/xzq5hQIWC5
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) June 24, 2020
In Wednesday morning’s edition of Morning Joe, co-host Willie Geist referenced the FBI report, telling Sharpton “We should take it as good news that someone didn’t place it into his stall specifically, as the only full-time black driver in NASCAR, who pushed to have those Confederate flags removed from NASCAR events, and NASCAR did take that step last week. But it does appear there was a noose, as the FBI is calling it, placed in that garage last fall.”
“The FBI identified it as a noose, NASCAR said it was a noose, so went along with the FBI’s characterization. It was a noose,” Sharpton said. “So the question is, even if they did not know that Bubba Wallace was going to use that stall, why was a noose in the stall? It’s clear what a noose represents.”
“And I think to go, whether or not they knew that sooner or later the one black driver would use that stall, really doesn’t answer why it was in the stall at all,” Rev. Sharpton added. “And then, did someone know that it was in the stall when they did belatedly assigned Bubba there? So I don’t think this answers a lot of questions, and clearly from what we just saw, of Bubba Wallace, it does not seem he, who was the victim and possible target in this matter, seems to be satisfied with this. So I do not think that we’ve seen closure in this particular inquiry.”
Demagogues gotta demagogue, and Sharpton’s the master at that craft. It’s worth noting, even if it makes no difference to Sharpton, that the noose wasn’t “placed” there as much as someone was using it as a garage door pull cord. Fifteen FBI agents conducted an inquiry under federal hate-crime statutes and didn’t find any criminal intent to it. Wallace wasn’t a “victim” of it, since he (a) never saw it, and (b) its “placement” long predated Wallace’s assignment to that stall. If fifteen FBI agents on an incident like this can’t provide closure, nothing will.
Not that these points will have anything to do with the public flogging of this story. Some fundraising appeals are just too darned seductive to let pass. Sharpton will eat lunch off this non-cident for weeks, if not months. And for the moment, it looks like NASCAR’s going to provide an assist too. Willie Geist has the proper take for the rest of us, which is that we’re happy it turned out to be a misunderstanding. Isn’t that what we should have hoped it’d be?
Give Bubba Wallace credit for saying yes to that question, a bit belatedly (via VIP Gold member Stephanie):
— Bubba Wallace (@BubbaWallace) June 24, 2020
Good for Wallace. Hopefully this will put an end to it, but I’m not betting that way.