Open Letter To NASCAR Fans, re: Booing Michelle Obama at Homestead’s Finale

Hi, there. I saw Sunday’s Cup closer and I have a few things to say about the choice some of you made to boo Michelle Obama and Jill Biden. Now, look: You know I’m one of the more politically-liberal people at the track, but when there I do honestly try to leave my politics in the parking lot whenever I can. Just don’t show me yours, either. Not there. The track’s the one place I go to set all that aside for awhile. Even I need that, same as you.

So what happens on Sunday? Mrs. Obama and Dr. Biden join with a military organization designed to help returning vets find work; they bring a representative and a couple of kids onto the stage to give the start-your-engines command.

And what did some of you do?

You boo them.

Now, let’s recap. Those of you who did this, did it to the First and Second Ladies of the United States. In the case of the First Lady, forgive me if I say your racism and Tea-Party roots are showing. I hear you tell me I should’ve been more respectful toward Dubya when he was “President,” otherwise maybe this wouldn’t be happening.

Oh, yes it would. And you know it. That’s how racism works, how embedded fear works.

Besides, Dubya was an originally-unelected co-conspirator in an unsanctionable, illegal war on Iraq when the real enemy was Osama bin Laden, al-Qaeda, and a coterie of American billionaires waiting to siphon the financial tank once and for all. When baseball fans booed him at the ballpark, they were booing a criminal, someone personally responsible—not Laura, certainly, and surely not Barbara (my God—Barbara would’ve whipped out her AK-47 and laid waste to the ballpark: “Boo this, ya bitches!”). But not, apparently, when the roles are skewed. Whatever happened to the idea that political families are to be respected? I was just wondering, because during the late kakistocracy we heard lots of rhetoric about that, although the two Bush daughters were partiers the way their dad had been and arrest is a news story, like it or not. That leads to more late-night fodder. The gloves come off at that point.

Obama is no criminal. The Right would love it if he was, of course, but he isn’t. The rightward electorate fears him because they—you—are told to. But who’s telling you? Roger Ailes, who freely admits that if he thought liberalism was the bigger moneymaker then Fox would look like the old Russian news “service.” Rupert Murdoch, who clearly does what he does only because it enriches him; aside from that he has no real political leanings as such, only the height of that green wall he’s erected from capital. Dick Armey, a pustule on the right cheek of the nation who deserves neither your time nor your attention. The Koch brothers, who by themselves do more to finance the Rightist agenda than you can possibly imagine.

But you weren’t booing them. Instead, you booed the First and Second Ladies of the United States, a military soldier, and a couple of little kids while they gave the start command.

Next time, try booing the right people. Boo the corporate vampires in the suites, boo the politicians who vote against more teachers, more cops, and who vote for fewer services and decreased safety restrictions. Boo them straight out of office. But when you do what you did Sunday, you do no one any good at all. NASCAR again must deal with its reputation as a “hick” sport undertaken by the clueless for the delight of the bloodthirsty.

Thanks, folks. I appreciate it. Now I have to defend NASCAR to my friends who wonder why on God’s gray earth I’d still want to follow it when the fans are the epitome of the “low-information voter.” So I defend the sport as the excitement it still is to me, but I don’t defend you who booed. I can’t. There is no defense for you. I’d bet that even Brian France holds you in low esteem today. He should, at least.

Finally, but personally, I’m in favor of any program that helps returning veterans. Don’t you? Did you not know, somehow, that this was the reason for a White House presence at the track in the first place? Did you not know you were understood through TV as booing the military? Or was yours simply some animal, gut response?  Either way, today you’re wearing it. You’re an embarrassment, those among you who did this, and since none of you will have the courage to stand up for that act, I’m going to react as a teacher and that’s why I speak to the lot of you, hoping to reach perhaps a few guilty parties:

You did no one any favors. Got me?


About johnwylam1957

I'm a poet and teacher now living in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
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One Response to Open Letter To NASCAR Fans, re: Booing Michelle Obama at Homestead’s Finale

  1. I’m no fan of NASCAR, as auto racing doesn’t turn me on, but for the morons to boo Michelle and Jill, is pathetic.

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