Our buddy Chris at Lucky Dawg
gets mentioned in a Sporting News article
on the Dateline/NASCAR story. I haven't covered it here, but Dateline was looking for people to dress up as Muslims and attend a NASCAR event in the hopes that they would encounter hatred and prejudice.
I don't agree with the writer's take on the story:I see where these guys are coming from, but I don't totally share their outrage. The premise of the story -- NBC sent people dressed like Muslims to the race at Martinsville to see how fans would react -- really doesn't bother me all that much. It's annoying and everything, but it's hardly an illegitimate way to gather news.
The part that galls me the most is the idea that, oh, Muslims at a NASCAR event would be more likely to experience prejudice than, say, white guys in Harlem, or Jews in Gaza. But you know how it is, those experiences wouldn't offer Dateline the chance to lecture white America on how racist it is.
He does make one very good point:Maybe there's no way for Dateline's story to be 100 percent legitimate. Clearly, there's more to the story than an honest attempt to gather news. According to luckydawgnews.com, a person who appears to be Dateline's contact in the Muslim community sent out emails looking for Muslim participants:
They are looking for men who actually "look Muslim". They want a guy with no foreign accent whatsoever, a good thick beard, an outgoing personality, and someone willing to wear a kufi/skullcap during the filming.Because racism isn't bad if you do it to some schlub. But disrespect a doctor and you're a real menace.
They also want someone who is fairly well accomplished and has contributed to American society at large in some meaningful way.
Exactly. They're trying to throw a little classism into the piece as well; they probably buy the image of NASCAR fans as blue-collar on a red neck. So not only would they be exposing prejudice by whites against Muslims, but also blue collar against white collar.