Saturday, October 15, 2011
You will have noted that sports has decided over the past few years to take note of the fact of life that is breast cancer by wearing pink in different ways at different events. NFL players sport pink pumps some random Sunday. Basketball players wear pink sneakers or pink uniforms. Last night at the Nationwide NASCAR event in Charlotte there was a big pink logo on the infield grass, and some drivers had pink in their race car color schemes, and there was even mention of breast cancer in the prayer before the race.
Certainly it's a good thing to so mention this terrible disease, which kills and ravages far far too many people. But I did find the dissonance a bit unnerving. NASCAR, after all, is about as conservative (or "conservative" to be more accurate) as it gets. NASCAR is the sport of official Country Music, its renditions of the National Anthem mostly the music run through the Dolly Parton Method, its religion as Southern Baptist as you can get, its audience and participants as white as a Republican Convention. Every event features more military than even the NFL--with flyovers that in aggregate would rival a May Day Parade in Kremlin Square.
So then. How come somebody or other didn't at least note that this week in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, the Republicans passed a bill which makes emergency health care for women an optional requirement of American hospitals, a sort of Libertarianism of gender rights which flies in the face of the plain fact (which would in other contexts be an Ace of Spades trump) that women have the Constitutional Right to an abortion. I mean, given all that pink, couldn't Mrs. Harvick have had a word to say about this remarkable Congressional travesty? Or what about Kyle Busch, who has built his whole public persona on being outspoken? I noticed that he wasn't even interviewed after the race last night (and he finished 2nd)--I'd like to hope that he was going to dip his toe in these waters, and that that was cause to shut him up. But I doubt it.
Republican millionaires pretty much run NASCAR, as they do Nashville, as they do the Republican Party and a significant part of the Democratic Party as well. In NASCAR they do not like dissent, but they can deal ok with dissonance. This is quite in keeping with the nature of the NASCAR fan. And so the little ladies can be acknowledged for their courage in the face of breast cancer (and the medical industry can keep a woman's public visage palatable even in the face of a double mastectomy, dissonance held safely at bay), and ain't nobody going to say one single word about that pretty in pink young lady bleeding to death as she is Federally required to drive from one Emergency Room to the next in the hope of finding just one, somewhere, somehow, willing to perform a life-saving abortion before she dies in the backseat of the cab.
Gentlemen, start your engines. If you want to look a little deeper into the unexamined, you could read this a few times: