I want to talk about a noose.
Somebody found one in NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace’s garage at Talladega Superspeedway yesterday.
Whoever put it there wanted to fan the flames of racism and hate, but the plan backfired.
The race was scheduled for yesterday, but was postponed until today because of rain.
News about a noose in the NASCAR Cup Series’ only Black driver’s garage was known yesterday, and the postponement gave Wallace’s fellow drivers ample time to rush to his side in support.
It didn’t take long.
Today, all of the drivers pushed Wallace’s car to the front of the field in solidarity.
It was wonderful to see.
Alabama is my home, and I love it.
There are so many good things about Alabama, and so many good people in it.
There’s plenty of bad about it, too.
The bad was on display yesterday, in actions which resembled dark parts of Alabama’s past too closely and proved they are still too big a part of its present.
Those actions were racist, unconscionable and unacceptable.
I hate they still happen anywhere.
If I could go back in time, I’d suggest whoever thought it’d be a good idea to hang a noose in Wallace’s garage find something better to do with his or her life.
If I could talk to him or her now, with the FBI on the case, I’d suggest whoever it is turn themselves in and face the music.
There’s no excuse for what they did, and they should be accountable for it.
The truth will come to light, as so much has recently, and it will brighten the way to a better future.
It is true the past is in the past, but such a fact doesn’t mean the past — even at its worst — can’t teach us something in the present.
The noose in Bubba Wallace’s garage at Talladega harkens back to terrible times in Alabama and America.
Before the virus broke, I went for a walk inside the National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery.
It shines light on racial terror lynchings.
When I walked through the memorial, I was struck by a lot of things.
There are pillars on which the names of people killed in racial terror lynchings in America are inscribed, and soil samples from sites where people were lynched in Alabama, but the wall with charges for the executions struck me most.
I wish I could give you the exact words on the wall, but I can’t find the pictures I took to record them.
The charges were ridiculous and unfathomable, yet used to end lives in the not-too-distant past.
I left the memorial thankful for the steps Alabama and the country have taken, but aware there’s still more progress to be made.
Yesterday’s racist act backfired — and ushered in a great display of unity when NASCAR’s drivers unified to support Wallace today — but it’s a stark reminder there’s still so much work to be done.
This post is a response to Sue’s prompt, which is “suggest.”