Something to chew on

Friday, March 16, 2007

Changing Tires*

*(This is not a food-related or counting-calories entry.)

Cole and I read this story last night after dinner while watching a little bit of TV and relaxing. We're big NASCAR fans, down to even knowing who owns which cars and what many of the wives names are (sad, I know). But there are two words in this story that upset me, so much so that I emailed the author last night, and I still am not really over it this morning.

Quick story if you don't want to read the whole article: Kyle Petty is the driver of the #45 car. The Petty family is equal to NASCAR royalty in many ways. Anyway, this article was basically a profile of a member of the Petty crew who used to play football and how he has transitioned from that sport to this one. This crew member, Rocko Williams, is a front-tire changer for the Petty team (my favorite noise in NASCAR by the way, the airgun that removes the lugnuts, but that doesn't matter). The author felt the need to attribute a quote to "... Williams, an African-American."


This was not a story about the drive to increase diversity in the sport. And nowhere was Petty referred to as "Petty, a white guy" as Megan pointed out when I soapboxed on this story to her this morning. I just don't get it. If you have some insight as to why this would matter, please let me know. I'm still waiting on the author to email me back with his reasoning. We'll see if that actually happens...

**Update. I received an email back from Joe Menzer just a few minutes ago.
You know, the funny thing about that is that I wrote the entire story -- and then went back and put in the African American reference during my editing of it. Perhaps you are right. I wish I could say I believe we've finally reached the time in NASCAR when it is no longer necessary to make that point. But the reason I did it is that NASCAR continues to struggle with placing men of color and various ethnic backgrounds in positions throughout the sport, although it is trying to do better. Rocko, though no longer alone by any stretch when it comes to pit-crew members, is still one of very few African Americans in the sport. That is why, in the end, I decided to mention it. It really was no different than writing a story about Juan Montoya and mentioning that he is Colombian.


I certainly enjoyed talking with Rocko and doing the story on him, and had no intentions whatsoever of offending anyone. In fact, I'm not sure I understand why you appear to be so offended -- but thanks for the e-mail anyway.

I don't think that mentioning nationality (his Montoya reference) and race is the same. Am I wrong here???



Post a Comment

<< Home
SummerTX's photos More of SummerTX's photos
          Healthy Lifestyle Blogger