April 11, 2006

NBC's Dateline brings "muslim-looking-men" to a NASCAR event... and nothing happens. NASCAR ain't happy.
  • Were they looking for evidence of NASCAR racism and anti-Muslim bias? I know it exists, but you're able to find it in all catchets of the citizenry. Why target the NASCAR crowd? This sounds like NBC had a hypothesis and were desperate to prove it. I have another idea I bet no network would dare attempt: bringing a group of homosexuals to a Muslim rally.
  • Umm, f8x, that's a non sequitur, is it not? The rallying Muslims would readily admit that they do not approve of homosexuality. This is about hidden race bias, not open intolerance.
  • This is more about hidden bias against NASCAR and its fans than against Muslims.
  • Oh, gotcha. So now that the hidden race bias has been outed, will the media now address the obvious intolerances perpetrated by other groups besides white Christian rednecks? Or would it be too obvious?
  • This is also a class issue. The stereotype is that the lower (more stupid) classes are racist while the upper (more enlightened) classes are not. Of course this is not the case. This doesn't even get into the idea of the actual class makeup of NASCAR fans. My dad's into it, and it's not a cheap hobby.
  • "So now that the hidden race bias has been outed, will the media now address the obvious intolerances perpetrated by other groups besides white Christian rednecks? Or would it be too obvious?" Yeah, that's right, why don't we start right now with those pesky liberals trying to stop Christians from persecuting gays. As soon as christians stop doing asinine, brain-deadening things, perhaps people will stop mocking them. Ok, that's pretty unlikely.
  • Hidden bias against NASCAR? I'm openly biased against groups of people that waste gas so they can drive in circles. Can't we be happy that NASCAR fans showed that they are civilized and didn't take the bait? I'm a little disturbed about the "news making" instead of "reporting", but they did nothing. Is there something wrong with bringing Moslems to a public event? Should there be? Oh right, they thought a bad thought about people you share a trait with. Join the club.
  • And to refresh, I'm an atheist, I'm evil, I'm going to hell, President Bush Sr. thinks I shouldn't be a citizen, can't be a patriot "because its One Nation UNDER GOD", should stop attacking Christmas, live in an ivory tower (since I'm an academic), and am secretly trying to make you all gay. Cry me a river, NASCAR fans.
  • Uh, guys... they're called race cars. They're not keeping it a very good secret.
  • Is that like race cards?
  • And it's techsmith by a nose! (Yeah, different racing paradigm, I know. I'm not a NASCAR fan. Sue me.)
  • ...but they did nothing. Strictly true, but the act of running such an "investigative story" essentially sends the message "We think NASCAR fans are a bunch of inbred, backwater, illiterate bigots and wish to test this hypothesis." No fan of NASCAR am I -- in fact, a dear friend of mine was killed in a NASCAR crash, so I don't look on it kindly at all -- but it's hardly surprising that NASCAR representatives and fans would perceive the story as a slight. Mostly because it is one, however unintentional.
  • Frankly, I don't have a car in this race. They tested their hypothesis, and it failed, with nothing hurt except feelings. If NASCAR afficionados don't want to do business with General Electric after this, more power to them.
  • I should clarify: the point to me (and if I read rocket88 correctly, to him too) is not so much that the Dateline "journalists" are horrible people for "thinking a bad thought" about NASCAR fans, but rather that this is the best kind of unintentional irony: they went searching for dickbrained prejudice and wound up exposing their own on national TV. Which I find endlessly funny. Dateline is 99% stupidity anyway, and this kind of stunt only underscores it.
  • Yes, well this prejudice only bruised people's feelings. Let me know when dateline is picketing funerals or blowing up NASCAR fans, or lynching NASCAR fans, or trying to get laws passed to restrict NASCAR fans ability to control their own reproduction. Like I said, they should take it out on General Electric. NASCAR has a nice bit of economic clout, but "oh evil dateline, how could you", well, this is pretty trivial.
  • And yes, I get the hypocrisy, and agree, but everyone is prejudiced. Its not a surprise.
  • I agree. But I don't think it would be regarded as quite as trivial if the story had been any one of these options: Send an undercover reporter into Jewish-owned businesses to see how many of them try to rip him off. Send a white woman into a predominately black neighborhood to see how long before someone tries to mug, rape, and/or kill her. Send a kid into a predominantly gay community/establishment to see if any of those homos try to abduct/molest him.
  • It has to do with the power of the minority in question.
  • That's at issue, sure, but what's wrong with decrying it as wrong when anybody does it, regardless of the target?
  • And ... with further thought, whether consuming a product makes you into a minority demographic. Frankly, even if I attended NASCAR I wouldn't be offended by this because I don't think consuming the same product puts me into the same "clan" as everyone else who consumes the product. I also drink Pepsi... what does that mean about my prejudices against Moslems?
  • Fine, its wrong. I decry it. What does NASCAR want? A cookie that some uninformed people think they're a bunch of rednecks? Man, if I had a dollar.... Remember, the young republicans are sending guys into classrooms recording professors lectures looking for evidence of anti-conservative bias. And there's nothing anyone can do because they pay tuition and have every right to be there...
  • I'm not saying it's a huge deal, or that it's all that terribly important. I'm just saying that people get offended when you slight them. That may make them thin-skinned, in the opinion of some, but it's hardly out of bounds. It's how most people are, frankly. As to what NASCAR wants, I'd say probably a public apology for the PR jab at their organization and the week or two of stupid-ass interviews they're going to have to do as a result of this. Also probably a new network to broadcast their races. If I were running NASCAR, that's what I'd want.
  • Blah blah blah, wah wah wah, flappity yappity fuckin' do-dah day.
  • Fun to watch, and equally pointless.
  • Next week: sockless kangaroo fuckers who invent their own languages -- HOW LONG BEFORE THEY KEY MY CAR?
  • OMG, you just invented reality television? Lets take a group of people from all different demographics and see who becomes an utter kneebiter first!
  • As a kneebiter myself, I'm highly offended by that remark, you sick fuck.
  • dont start patting yourselves on the back just yet. let's face it: nearly all of nascar's fans are white, they're mostly christian, and many are lucky to have a high school diploma. and it's not a stretch to say that -- depending on whoever's research you want to cite -- there is a relatively high correlation between 'pretty racist'/'somewhat racist' honkies and the nascar demographic. (dont make me draw a venn diagram, i swear i'll fucking do it!! i will!) remember, there are several significant, notable differences between that chunk of people and the actual neonazi white power stromfront-type folks... perhaps the biggest being the overt racism, committing of hatecrimes without hesitation, etc etc etc that typify their unabashed prejudices. they are ignorant, crazy, AND violent. and though they are quite vocal and mostly confrontational, we're talking about a pretty small group of hardcore nutjobs... in the US, numbering a couple thousand people at most. not quite your typical nascar fan, right? what motivates the 'somewhat-racist' nascar fan is fear. fear of dark-skinned people who pray to strange gods, perform bizarre, heretical religious rituals, are possibly? suicide bombers, are trying to take over our ports, taxi cabs, and qwik e marts, etc. these are the kind of people who get nervous when a dark-skinned guy steps onto their elevator, airplane flight, or even just passing them on the street. they are terrified cowards. of course they're not going to start shit... they live in fear! i'm not trying to defend dateline -- which imho is absolute garbage (btw i wouldn't at all be surprised if nbc got a wink and a nod from nascar, a la janet's jackson's superbowl titty) -- but rather let's not pretend that, generally speaking, the 'nascar' demographic is a shining beacon of racial tolerance, diversity, inclusivity, etc... because that's pretty silly. but, hey, it all makes for great tv, am i rite? SUNDAY! SUNDAY!! SUNDAY!!!
  • Could someone help me, please? When I Google 'define: Muslim looking men', I get no hits. I'm a bit confused, 'cause my 6'2", blonde haired, Caucasian neighbour who converted to Islam for his wife looks like most of the NASCAR spectators I've seen. ...
  • > Muslim looking men think benetton face-morphing advertisements.
  • So, Wedge, you're saying that Dateline was on the right track? Sounds like it to me. And as a pro basketball fan who neither carries a Glock nor calls women "bitches," I call bullshit.
  • HW, that's the knock on NBA players not the NBA fans
  • looks like most of the NASCAR spectators You can't just "look" racist. Geez.
  • I think that was exactly the point, techsmith.
  • actually i believe i said dateline was "absolute garbage". and i certainly didnt say every single nascar fan was klan member, if that is what you're trying to imply. but, there are very real reasons why gay people, for instance, have their own rodeos. do you deny that such "red state" subcultures exist?
  • I either way too subtle for this thread or way too overt.
  • As a matter of fact, Wedge, I do believe that there's such a thing as "red state subcultures." I just don't think it's right to stereotype those subcultures as being made up of "terrified cowards." I think that's remarkably closed-minded -- almost a pot-calling-the-kettle-black kind of thing.
  • That said, Wedge, I do understand what it's like to be frustrated with the red states these days. I just think you're going a little too far, painting too many people with too broad a brush.
  • Thinking in red state/blue state terms *is* using too broad a brush. Red states are 50-60% red, and blue states are 50-60% blue. The same subcultures exist in every state, and NASCAR has nothing to do with any it.
  • Agreed.
  • However, due to the US electoral system, and the fact that the Senate gives little states as much representation as big states, it can be kinda difficult not to think of states as either red or blue.
  • On my map puzzle as a lil' grover96 some of the states were green and some yellow.
  • I just don't think it's right to stereotype those subcultures as being made up of "terrified cowards." that's not exactly the point i was trying to make. but if you think my brushstrokes are too broad, then i wonder if you read the whole article..
    NBC said in a statement. "We were intrigued by the results of a recent Washington Post/ABC News poll and other articles regarding increasing anti-Muslim sentiments in the United States.
    poll? what poll? seriously check it out...
    The poll found that nearly half of Americans -- 46 percent -- have a negative view of Islam, seven percentage points higher than in the tense months after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, when Muslims were often targeted for violence. According to the poll, the proportion of Americans who believe that Islam helps to stoke violence against non-Muslims has more than doubled since the attacks, from 14 percent in January 2002 to 33 percent today. The survey also found that one in three Americans have heard prejudiced comments about Muslims lately. In a separate question, slightly more (43 percent) reported having heard negative remarks about Arabs. One in four Americans admitted to harboring prejudice toward Muslims, the same proportion that expressed some personal bias against Arabs.
    a bit disconcerting, isn't it? so who is hating on all the muslims and arabs?
  • I am!
  • Wait, I thought you were talking about muslin and crabs. I hate both. Also, Jews.
  • No, juice. You hate juice, dude. And members of the Baha'i faith. Fuckers.
  • *insert joke about freshly squeezed religous member here
  • I have a negative opinion of people who believe nonsensical things without question. Which is pretty much everybody.
  • i have complete faith in mord's judgment!
  • I think I have an irrational belief in the combustion engine. Does that make me a bad person?
  • No, but I'm going to keep my distance from you just in case you decide your worship of the combustion engine involves hydrazine and nitrous oxide.