News & Politics

As Protesters Flout Coronavirus Lockdowns, Racetrack Calls the Government's Bluff

Facebook screenshot of Ace Speedway racetrack holding a race.

After months of lockdowns to slow the spread of the Wuhan coronavirus from China, massive crowds have gathered to protest the death of George Floyd at the hands of police. The very same state government that prohibited protests outside an abortion clinic, leading to the arrest of Christians praying outside one deadly establishment, would not act against the massive crowds … and that seems to have given a racetrack in North Carolina a great idea.

Why not host a race and call it a “protest?”

Ace Speedway in Elon, North Carolina, did just that on Saturday. The speedway drew a crowd of more than 2,000 spectators in defiance of the state’s coronavirus lockdown after declaring the spectacle a “protest,” the Associated Press reported.

Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s office had told Ace Speedway that a crowd of more than 25 would violate the state’s Phase 2 coronavirus restrictions, but thousands gathered on Saturday for a funeral for George Floyd in Raeford. Not only did Cooper allow the gathering, but he spoke in person.

Local news outlets reported that more than 2,000 attended the race on Saturday night.

A sign from management outside the speedway read, “This Event is held in Peaceful Protest of Injustice and Inequality Everywhere.”

The Alamance County Sheriff’s Office said it is “evaluating the events.”

This racetrack’s boldness comes at a time when law-abiding Americans are furious that governments that harshly cracked down on the slightest violation of coronavirus lockdowns are looking the other way when thousands of protesters congregate in the streets — even when some protests devolve into looting, riots, and arson. Indeed, the riots that are supposedly aimed at insisting that “Black Lives Matter” have proven destructive of black lives, black livelihoods, and black monuments.

In an egregious double standard, governments that prevented people from opening their businesses are refusing to act when rioters loot and destroy their businesses — even amid a pandemic!

The Christian satire site The Babylon Bee mocked this kind of double standard with an article entitled, “Clever Churchgoers Avoid Arrest By Disguising Themselves As Rioters.” The Bee did not intend on predicting the future with the racetrack, but apparently that’s exactly what it did.

Ace Speedway called Roy Cooper’s bluff, and it’s glorious.

Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.

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