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Whitlock: How the Associated Press, NASCAR, Bubba Wallace, Jenna Fryer, and the descendants of Wendell Scott benefit from race fake news

Op-ed
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Jenna Fryer, the Associated Press' motorsports writer, desperately wants Bubba Wallace to be the second coming of Wendell Scott, the first black driver to win a NASCAR race.

So do many of the descendants of Scott, the primary benefactors of the Wendell Scott Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit established to commemorate Scott's legacy and employ Scott's descendants.

Yesterday, in reaction to my column exploring corporate media's obsession with pretending Wallace faces 1950s-style anti-black bigotry, Fryer and Warrick Scott Sr., a grandson of the deceased driver, criticized my column over social media.

In a since-deleted tweet, Fryer called my opinion piece a "literal hot take." She then claimed I was unqualified to write it because I've never personally interviewed Bubba Wallace and because she's "seen Bubba Wallace need security, seen convoys of Confederate flags, heard the deafening boos."

Warrick Scott, the founder of the Wendell Scott Foundation, called me a clown in one tweet and challenged me to talk face to face in another one.

"You are the first black man that I have ever known to disrespect and disregard my grandfather's legacy in such a manner. Instead of me ripping you to pieces on Twitter, how about a face to face opportunity to discuss," Warrick wrote.

I have extended Warrick Scott an invitation to discuss the matter on "Fearless with Jason Whitlock." But I'd like for Warrick, Fryer, and everyone to read this follow-up column restating and clarifying my point of view on Bubba, Wendell, and corporate media's obsession with transporting blacks to the future, aka pretending that 2021 America is really no different from 1961 America.

This false narrative is pushed for profit and harms modern race relations. The false narrative relies on an intentional, blatant distortion of fact, truth, and reality. Jenna Fryer, Bubba Wallace, and Warrick Scott all financially benefit from the promotion of the false narrative that Wallace is racing in an environment similar to the one Wendell Scott competed in 60 years ago.

Let me take a moment and establish some context.

The Associated Press is America's primary news source and the world's foundational source for news about the United States. The AP presents America to the rest of the planet. It is the most powerful news source. It's a hundred times more influential than Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC. The AP dwarfs the New York Times' impact and influence. All those news sources rely on the AP's content.

Although unknown, Jenna Fryer determines how the world views Bubba Wallace, NASCAR, and America's race fans. Her work is the foundation for all other news sources. ESPN ran her story on Wallace at the top of its website.

Fryer and the AP decided to wrap Wallace's rain-shortened victory in the YellaWood 500 in a racial narrative. They decided to present it as a historic moment.

These narratives are chosen by the media, by TV networks, by the leagues in need of historic moments to boost ratings.

As I wrote yesterday, Wendell Scott got his chance to race on the Dixie Circuit in 1951 because a smart promoter realized the best way to attract fans to the speedway in Danville, Virginia, was to have a black driver compete against white men. Wendell's popularity on the Dixie Circuit inspired NASCAR to let him race.

America has changed for the better. The country is far less racist than it was in the 1950s and 1960s. The American media has not changed for the better. The media is far more sinister, subversive, and clandestine with its racism than it was 60 years ago. Corporate media is the wolf in a black female sheep's clothing.

Let's examine how the AP and Jenna Fryer handled Wendell Scott's narrative and Bubba Wallace's. Fryer and her editors intentionally chose to present Scott's 1963 victory in Jacksonville and Wallace's victory on Monday in the most racially polarizing and divisive way.

Fryer's Tuesday story included this paragraph:

"Wallace is the first black driver to win at the top level of the elite stock car series since Wendell Scott in 1963, a race in which he wasn't declared the victor until long after Buck Baker had already been awarded the trophy. NASCAR at last presented Scott's family with his trophy from that race two months ago."

The paragraph clearly insinuates that NASCAR waited 57 years to recognize Scott as the winner of the race. It's an intentional distortion. It's a white (liberal) lie used to trigger people emotionally.

Here's the truth from a Jacksonville newspaper story published in 2010.

"It took two hours — long after the fans left the Jacksonville track — before NASCAR upheld a protest by Scott. Racing rival Buck Baker originally was declared the winner. He took the checkered flag. NASCAR then pored through its hand-written scorecards and agreed that Scott actually drove two extra laps. Official records now show him two laps ahead of the field. Scott eventually was declared the winner and received the first-place check. He received a trophy — not the original — four weeks later before a race in Savannah, Ga."

You should read the entire article. Scott and Baker were friends. Baker sold Scott the first car Scott ever raced. At the time of Scott's victory, it was commonplace for there to be scoring discrepancies. Scott's victory wasn't a big deal because only a couple of races mattered at the time.

Fryer's Tuesday story also states that NASCAR didn't give Scott's family a trophy until two months ago. Not true. Here's the story from 2010 about the Jacksonville Stock Car Racing Hall of Fame and NASCAR presenting Scott's descendants with a trophy. It was a 45-minute ceremony.

So let's do the final tally: For his 1963 victory, Scott received the winner's paycheck, a trophy in Georgia, a trophy and ceremony in Jacksonville, and a third trophy and ceremony two months ago. He's in several halls of fame. And his grandson is employed by a foundation dedicated to promoting Scott's legacy.

Wendell Scott isn't Jack Johnson, the first black heavyweight boxing champion. Wendell Scott isn't Jackie Robinson, the first black Major League Baseball player, a six-time All-Star, winner of the National League MVP Award in 1949, a World Series champion in 1955. Wendell Scott isn't Althea Gibson, the first black Wimbledon tennis champion. Wendell Scott isn't George Coleman Poage, the first black American to win an Olympic medal.

I'm not trying to denigrate Wendell Scott. From everything I've read and learned about him, he was a man without ego, an extremely hard worker, someone his family and peers respected. He got his start in racing as a promotional tool for the Dixie Circuit and later NASCAR.

Bubba Wallace is the new promotional tool. Like Scott, Bubba isn't Tiger Woods, or Michael Jordan, or Muhammad Ali. He's not better than his competitors. In order to make him appear better, the Associated Press has to create the appearance that he's overcoming the KKK, the Proud Boys, Trump supporters, and all the descendants of Jefferson Davis.

Fryer wrote this morning about the garage door rope knot that Wallace never saw. She complained that people on Twitter sent Wallace mean tweets. She lamented the fact that some race fans boo Wallace.

Booing, tweets, and garage door ropes are the equivalent of cross burnings, lynchings, and fire hoses.

It's fake news. It's stirring racial animus for profit. Everybody wins. Jenna Fryer, Warrick Scott, Bubba Wallace, NASCAR, the Associated Press, and America's adversaries.
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