No Noose

On Sunday, a normally sane part of the world went crazy when a “noose” was discovered in a garage stall at the Talladega race track that was used by a NASCAR team that included driver Bubba Wallace, who is black. You can imagine the uproar. Everyone involved in NASCAR stood in solidarity with Bubba and against racism. Wallace himself jumped to conclusions:

I understand that Wallace even humiliated himself by going on a goofy left-wing TV show called “The View” to complain about racism.

When a major crime is committed like a rope found lying around in a garage stall, the FBI is on it in a matter of hours. The FBI has now completed its investigation. It turns out that the “noose” was a garage door pull rope that had been in the stall since at least last year, long before it was occupied by the team to which Bubba Wallace belongs.

Still, it is reported that the garage door pull rope was “fashioned like a noose.” Is this somehow sinister, apart from the fact that it had nothing to do with Bubba Wallace? I don’t think so. When my wife tries to make order out of the mare’s nest of cables and plug-ins on my night table, she will tie each of them up in a manner that could reasonably be described as looking…like a noose.

This is a familiar story. An alleged racist outrage gives rise to the mandatory outpouring of righteous anger, but turns out to be nothing at all. As we and countless others have often observed, the demand for racism greatly exceeds the supply. Incidents like this one turn out to be either hoaxes (most often) or something completely innocuous (also common) just about every time. The fact that the race industry needs to constantly pounce on ridiculous instances like this one tells you all you need to know about the frequency of actual racist incidents in America. If racism were common, not rare, its advocates would have many more real incidents to be outraged about. Instead, they have to make do with imagined ones.

It is a sad commentary on American life–not that racism is rare, but that so many find it advantageous to pretend that it is common.

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