Bubba Wallace to Drive with #BlackLivesMatter Livery Tonight

Bubba Wallace’s number 43 Chevrolet will have a special #BlackLivesMatter livery for June 10’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway. The livery will feature a white hand clasping a black hand and will feature the slogan “Compassion, love, understanding.”

In a recent video posted on his team Richard Petty Motorsports’ Twitter page, Bubba Wallace explained “I’m excited for this opportunity to run #BlackLivesMatter on the car for Martinsville.

“This statement that we have right here, that we’re about to make—running this race car, being on live television on Fox—I think it’s going to speak volumes for what I stand for.”

Bubba Wallace is the only black driver on the grid in NASCAR’s Cup Series and says that his livery is being run to show “what the initiatives that NASCAR, the whole sport, is trying to push.”

Although the use of Confederate flags has long been banned on race cars and licensed merchandise, Wallace says that he would like the see the flag’s use banned wholesale, including in fan areas.

Although some argue that the flag is a symbol of southern pride, it is important to recognize that from its creation right through the present day, the Confederate flag was symbol terror used to promote white supremacy.

During the Civil War it was the battle flag used by General Robert E. Lee, whose soldiers kidnapped free Black farmers and sold them into slavery. General Lee also fought for the Confederate army whose mission was to fight for slavery.

In the middle part of this century, the flag’s use was widely and specifically used by Dixiecrats to advocate for racial segregation and resistance to civil rights.

More recently, the flag was used by mass murderer Dylan Roof, who infamously burned the American flag and waved the Confederate flag in his manifesto explaining his intention to start a race war before murdering nine Black people at a church in Charleston.

For more on the flag, we highly recommend Jameelah Nasheed’s recent piece for Teen Vogue.

It’s easy, then, to see why Wallace is arguing that “there’s going to be a lot of angry people that carry those flags proudly, but it’s time for change. We have to change that.”

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