Commentary by Frank Gillispie
France, boss of NASCAR, continues his efforts to turn
his back on the people who drove his organization into a
billion dollar business. He told correspondent Lesley
Stahl on 60 Minutes last Sunday, “It’s not a flag that I
look at with anything favorable. That’s for sure,”
France added that he cannot tell people what flag to fly
but that he does not encourage the battle flag.
France‘s reason for turning his back
on his organization‘s Southern Culture is to promote
racing to minorities. “(Reaching out to minorities) is
something I work on every day. I work on it personally
…” he said.
In fact, Confederate emblems are
already forbidden from display anywhere NASCAR has
"Any area that NASCAR controls at the
racetrack, you will never see the Confederate flag,"
said NASCAR diversity director Tish Sheets in a recent
interview. "It is not allowed on race cars, driver
uniforms, in the garage area or on any NASCAR-licensed
That was made clear several years ago
when the Sons of Confederate Veterans budget funds to
sponsor a car. NASCAR refused to allow the sponsorship
even though several teams were struggling to stay in
Now, we in the Southern movement are
accustomed to being attacked by people outside the
South. The poor souls have been misled, miseducated and
misdirected into believing that all things Southern are
evil. We are doing everything we can to bring them the
truth. But when it is one of our own who is betraying
us, well, that is truly painful. We have a name for
people like that. We call them scalawags.
Brian France is the biggest scalawag
of all times. He knows better. But he is so blinded by
greed for money and power, he willingly turns his back
on his own culture in pursuit of ever greater wealth.
His betrayal of the South brings to
mind a quote from the Bible: “What does it profit a man
if he gains the whole world and loses his soul.” NASCAR
once stood as a major component of the soul of the
south. But no more.
So what should we do about it? Two
strong proposals appear to be developing in the Southern
movement. First is a total boycott of NASCAR. They are
urging Southerners not to spend a dime on any NASCAR
products. That includes tickets, tags, calendars, model
cars, clothing or anything else with a connection to
NASCAR, its races, drivers or sponsors.
The other idea is to start a new
racing circuit. It would be called Dixie Racing League,
Southern Racing League or some other appropriate name.
There would be several rules: all races will occur
within the fifteen Southern states. The cars must be
true stock cars. Every car will have to be purchased
from a dealer's showroom then modified as needed to
achieve speed and safety. And finally the Confederate
Battle Flag would be the official emblem for the league.
Every car would be required to carry a battle flag decal
in a prominent position.
Either or both of these ideas would
have an impact on NASCAR’s future profitability. Once
they understand that losing their base will put their
entire business at risk, they will be forced to
reconsider their anti South stance.
Meanwhile, the South is full of small
and medium sized tracks where you can find people who
race for the love of the sport almost any weekend. We do
not need the big money back stabbers to enjoy this most
Southern of all sports. Let NASCAR go wherever they want
to go. Just give your money and support to those local
drivers who deserve it.
Copyright © 2005 by Frank Gillispie
firstname.lastname@example.org, Hull, GA
Frank Gillispie is the founder of the
Madison County Journal; his Frankly Speaking
column appears in numerous publications.