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A Race Story

Black people trip me out! I hope I got your attention. As we all know February is black history month and I’ve got something to say. This little thought came to me when I was at the premier of a movie I was fortunate enough to have a role in called – Wendell Scott (A race story). A story about the first black Nascar driver and the challenges of racing and winning in an all white sport. I can’t say who I play but when the movie comes out February 20th on ESPN, you’ll see. And yes, I tactfully plugged myself while plugging the movie. But this blog is directed more towards the Scott family which includes Wendell’s widow, two sons and a daughter I believe, more than it is at me.

As I sit and listen during the Q & A to the Scott family answer questions and tell stories, I was not aware of the color of their skin nearly as much as I was aware of the quality of their character. (not meaning to sound Dr. King’ish here) This was your typical American family, hardworking, honest and caring. Wendell would take people into his home, black or white and give them a place to stay for how ever long they needed it. His daughter was one of his mechanics. Yeah, a woman working on your car? He must have taught her well. One of his sons is a principal of a high school and so was Wendell Jr who I believed is now retired. The Wendell Scott story is a great story. It’s a story of perseverance and the pursuit of a dream. A story of a great American family overcoming great odds and eventually having their day in the sun. Sure, we can say a black American family but I prefer to see it differently.

One reason I would like to look at the Scott family as simply an American family is because of what Wendell’s kids said during the Q & A. The topic of racism was obviously present during the conversation and at one point someone asked if their were any white people who were kind to them. And without hesitation one of Wendell’s son (I can’t remember which one) said, and I’m paraphrasing here, that ”certain white people were instrumental in the success of our father. If it weren’t for a few white people we knew we would not be where we are today”. Of course I am not saying that white people are the reason for the Scott family’s success or any other black family’s success. My whole point to this drivel is in spite of all the obstacles unfairly placed in front of the Scott family by society, they were able to look past all that and not judge by the color of a person’s skin, but by the content of their character. (I know, I did it again. The guy was a great speaker).

I don’t even know if I really even qualify to be talking about such matters being all white and stuff but I just wanted to take a minute and talk about it. Racism sucks and it’s uncalled for but if we can all see people the way the Scott family sees people then we may be all right. Here’s to the Scott family, thanks for the example and I wish you continued success and happiness. Oh, and be sure to check out their story on ESPN February 20th after the Daytona 500. Wait, did I already say that?

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