More red meat for the lions...
In a parallel universe, today's Formula 1 column is about the freakishly terrifying robot fridges that delivered the trophies last Sunday to bewildered drivers on the not-the-podium. Instead, we have to keep talking about Marxism.
It really didn't have to be this way. For instance, if you don't want to talk about sexism, don't ask Bernie Ecclestone this question:
"Who changes the nappies?"
Was he ever not going to answer: "That's what wives are for"?
So that's Bernie cancelled, then.
First, let's just get something absolutely straight: I don't *want* to be talking about racial politics. Since I wrote the last piece on the same matter, plenty have urged me to keep it up. Others have accused me of hurling out red meat for the rabid lions to gobble up.
Seriously: Does anyone actually think Wendy Carey having to delete her Twitter account to hide her affection for Donald Trump is good for my career? People may want to read it, but - trust me - no one really wants to publish it, let alone pay for it.
My business is *real* Formula 1 news, so every minute spent writing about getting politics out of the paddock is a minute that one of my clients can rightly accuse me of wasting. And fair enough.
So to be clear: I'm writing this because apparently no one else has the guts.
The guts to point out that the founders of Black Lives Matter admit they are "trained Marxists". The guts to point out that the BLM website admits the movement wants to dismantle the "Western-prescribed nuclear family structure". Or the guts to observe that these people love ripping down historical statues, de-funding police departments, and making excuses for violent rioting. Or the guts to describe that an actual, real-life, convicted terrorist is on the board of directors and hardly anyone on earth even knows, let alone cares.
What's this got to do with Formula 1, then?
Um ... Lewis Hamilton openly wears a Black Lives Matter t-shirt on the grid and shows a 'Black Power' fist to the empty grandstands. That's what.
Point of clarification: The lives of black people absolutely matter. And Black Lives Matter (the organisation, not the people) is, in my view, a force for evil.
Now, I'm a 100% fair dinkum Aussie, but on the matter of racial politics in Formula 1, it turns out that I actually have a lot in common with the Russians.
Daniil Kvyat, for example, pointed out that the reason he joins a Finn, an Italian, a Monegasque, a Dutchman and a Spaniard in refusing to kneel like Colin Kaepernick (the Nike and Disney-funded millionaire who wears socks depicting police as pigs) is because Russians only kneel for God and Russia.
Or maybe it's because all of us ... you know ... read books.
A while back, Dr Helmut Marko revealed that 26-year-old Kvyat was reading Tolstoy's War And Peace, and prefers Igor Stravinsky over Drake.
(I suppose I'm racist to assume that Lewis doesn't read Tolstoy?)
Either way, it's unfortunately not going to redeem the six-time world champion in the eyes of some Formula 1 fans, after he held aloft his fist of Black Power on the not-the-podium last Sunday.
"I followed your career from day 1," someone told him on social media. "Not once did I think or care about colour. I just enjoyed your brilliance. I'll not watch the sport again. All lives matter. Most of us aren't racists."
Another added: "A multi-millionaire tax dodger telling us we are privileged? We didn't see your colour, but you obviously see ours."
And another: "I'm a big fan Lewis, but the black power salute is actually racist and pro-segregation."
I could go on, but I actually want it to stop! That's why I'm doing this. But I genuinely fear that if some people whose opinions are culturally Verboten right now don't also insist upon exercising their freedom to speak, Formula 1 will go the way of many other huge international sports whose fuming fans are switching off in droves, sick to death of the political invasion.
I'm talking about brilliant sports like the NBA, whose players are now allowed to replace the surnames on their jerseys with 'Black Lives Matter' and 'I Can't Breathe' - but not 'Free Hong Kong'. Is that free speech? It's actually borderline compelled speech, and the ridiculous levels of pressure on F1 drivers to 'take a knee' over the absolutely unnecessary and horrible death of a convicted criminal at the hands of a very bad cop in Minneapolis comes pretty close, too.
So bravo to Daniil and co for - literally - standing up for their right to have a conscience. And, alongside the terrifying robot fridges and ludicrous socially-distanced and cloth-muzzled interviews, if we have to keep watching this political and dangerous lunacy week after week this year, why on earth won't a reporter ask Lewis if he will kneel for the Uighur Muslims next time he's in China?
Free speech, after all.
On second thoughts, maybe we can leave this sort of questioning for - oh, I don't know - POLITICAL journalists, maybe. And maybe the FIA and Formula 1 will tap Hamilton on the shoulder at some point and urge him to leave his political activism for - oh, I don't know - the next round of Black Lives Matter protests and riots in his local neighbourhood.
Oh, I forgot - there are no riots in Monaco. Deep down, millionaires tend to be quite delighted with the system, as it happens.
I'm going to conclude this piece by getting back to those Tolstoy-reading and Stravinsky-listening Russians, who - and this is to put it mildly - have not been shy to chime in with fervent nationalistic support for their never-kneeling racing hero Daniil in recent days.
"It is no longer difficult to be a mass market hero, because that means acting like a goat or a ram," said Vitaly Milonov, a politician with the United Russia party.
"But to be different, not succumbing to profitable and false heroism but becoming a real hero, is a rare case. Kvyat has earned the right to be called this," he said.
"History will be the judge, but he is already right for not wanting to be in a herd of sheep, licking shoes. Some want them to do it out of meanness, like Biden and the American Democrats. For them, this is simply a manipulation of the masses for cheap popularity among blacks and the socialists who are now helping in this movement. These are people of the mass market, people of McDonald's, people who follow the general trends. Kvyat, in fact, is a typical representative of the dystopian hero - someone who breaks out of the system of cattle, and there should be more like him," Milonov added.
I'm not going to say 'hear hear', because I don't know anything about United Russia - and some of Milonov's more forthright views sound backwards to us instantly-offended, virtue-signalling, and utterly hypocritical Westerners. I'm just going to say that *true* diversity in Formula 1 means celebrating the fact that Russians revere their national racing hero. Twenty drivers on their knees, fearing the dire career consequences of daring to be the proudly black sheep, would indicate that something has gone horribly, horribly wrong with our magnificent sport - and, indeed, the world.
The opinions expressed are those of the author's and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of F1-Fansite.com, staff or partners.
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