What Circus Is At Charlotte Motor Speedway? [Answered!]

You might be familiar with the phrase, “circus world,” but do you know what it means? It’s more than a fancy way of saying “everybody’s got a great costume,” but it also refers to the culture that surrounds professional car racing. The costumes might be great, but that doesn’t mean the culture isn’t problematic. The following are some of the more problematic issues that are associated with the circus world.

Bullying And Hate Speech Aren’t Cool

One of the things that made Jim Crow and the era that followed it so brutal was the fact that it was allowed to exist within a supposedly civilized society. Unfortunately, the circus world has not changed much since then. The culture of car racing is still largely defined by a “boy’s club.” Although fans are slowly starting to realize just how much they are missing out on by staying away from the track, many are still content to let their opinions be known through social media. The problem is that this often leads to a certain type of bullying and hate speech that has no place in a civil society. The following are some of the worst social media posts that you’ll see from fans of car racing:

Racial Discrimination Is Real

You might think that, in the era of #metoo, social media would have changed the way men in the circus world regard women, but you’d be mistaken. In fact, the problem actually runs deeper than you’d think. During a 2016 NASCAR race, it was reported that 71% of the Twitter space was taken up by something other than sports-related content. The majority of this content was centered around discussions of politics and social issues. In other words, even the most casual of Twitter users were more interested in speaking about the world around them than they were in following the actual race. This is not to say that all 71% of the Twitter users were problematic. Far from it. Just that, in general, men in the circus world have a very different perspective on women than their female counterparts do. In some cases, this is completely negative and, at times, even violent. So, too, is the pervasive use of the “N” word in sports. These are issues that the culture of car racing has not dealt with adequately and will need to if it wants to move forward alongside any type of modern, feminist society. If you’re a woman and/or a member of a marginalized group, you might want to stay away from the circus world.

Sexual Orientation And HIV Are Still Issues

Although the stigma surrounding HIV and AIDS has decreased in recent years, it is still very much a part of the culture of car racing. Homosexuality is almost never discussed within the culture, and when it is, it is often in a negative light. Even among the relatively “open” community of gay men, the fear of being infected with HIV is still very much a part of their mentality. This is problematic because, even in 2016, people with HIV still do not have the same level of rights as everyone else. It is an issue that needs to be discussed more openly within the culture if they want to move forward in a healthy way.

As for the issue of sexual orientation, again, you wouldn’t think that professional car racing would be an area that would be affected by the “Me Too” movement. After all, men and women are both attracted to cars, and, statistically speaking, most cars are not very good at expressing love. It is an unfortunate fact that many men and women in the circus world still see gender equality as a threat to their “manhood” or “womanhood” and work hard to keep the status quo. While it is great that the #metoo movement has finally allowed these men and women to speak up and be heard, the fact remains that many within the industry still see women as lesser beings. This has to change if the culture is to continue to evolve.

Over-Consumption Is The Name Of The Game

A staggering number of cars are purchased just to satisfy a social media-induced lust for material possessions. The average American consumer spends 4.25 hours per day on their phones, and this is what they use most often to occupy their time:

  • Instagram
  • Snapchat
  • Twitter
  • Facebook

These are obviously very important tools to keep up with everyone’s ever-changing lives. However, if people are spending so much time filling up their “bucket” on Instagram, they’re not going to have much room left for other activities. This, in turn, leads to over-consumption, which is already damaging the environment. The more people consume, the more fuel is needed to power all those devices, and this, in turn, affects the climate. To truly have an impact on the environment, the culture of car racing needs to stop buying and driving new cars. This is going to be difficult, as many people still see cars as an essential part of their identity, but it’s a necessary step if they want to evolve as a civilization.

Money Talks

Perhaps the most telling thing about the Twitter space in the 2016 race was the fact that, even at the most basic level, it was quite obvious that people were more interested in talking about money than they were in following the actual race. Why is this important? Well, one of the biggest differences between the Twitter users and the participants in the actual race is the fact that the latter get paid to do what they do. The fans are there because they have passionate interests in cars, but the people behind the scenes know that there are always more eyes on the money than there are on the cars. This leads to greater focus on the bottom line and the lack of concern for the future of the sport. It is often said that “money changes hands to keep the sport alive,” but, in reality, this is far from true. The people in charge of funding motorsport are constantly looking for ways to cut back on spending, and there is always the possibility of a strike or a recession. This is one of the major reasons why the culture of car racing is constantly in a state of flux. The need to keep up with the Joneses is simply too great, and it’s always a possibility that the tables can turn on you at any moment.

These are just some of the issues that you’re likely to come across when scrolling through the Twitter space regarding car racing. As you can see, there is a lot of room for improvement. If the culture of car racing wants to move forward with any type of open-mindedness and acceptance, it needs to start by addressing these issues head-on. It is not easy. It takes a lot of courage to put yourself in a position of being the different, but it’s the only way that positive change can occur.

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