Old Wives' Tales
Radio & TV
Toxin du jour
Claim: David Letterman offered a "Top Ten" list about why there are no black NASCAR drivers.
Example: [Collected via e-mail, 2005]
Origins: Jokes are often used to pass along negative stereotypes about members of other groups because the veil of humor is seen to bestow a form of plausible deniability about the nature of the messages being imparted. (When called upon about offensive statements contained therein, the joke's teller believes he has the safe retreat of "But I was just telling you this funny story I heard; it's not like I think that
The catalog of behaviors quoted above is an example of racism dressed up to look like a humor offering. Couched in the form of a David Letterman "Top Ten" list, it expounds upon any number of denigrating clichés presenting blacks as car-stealing, gun-toting criminals who dress in saggy gansta-style pants, wear their caps sideways, and drive about in flashy cars blaring loud rap music with their "hos" by their sides.
This list has been circulating on the Internet since at least
In 1999, NASCAR driver Dale Jarrett appeared on the
THE TOP 10 NASCAR DRIVER PET PEEVESDavid Letterman himself has ties to professional car racing as
10. Winning a race, then getting passed on the way home by some dork in a Hyundai.
9. You're eight laps down, and the only advice your pit crew comes across with is "Go faster."
8. Kids in the back keep asking, "Are we at
7. Right in the middle of the race, your N'Sync tape gets chewed up.
6. You're doing 200, and Letterman still passes you.
5. After a fill-up, your pit crew doesn't give you a free NFL drinking glass.
4. Guys who think they have a lot in common with you because they once did 70 on the Interstate.
3. I won the Winston Cup, but did they send me any free smokes? Hell no.
2. Tell crew chief you need to use the restroom, and he says, "Well, you should have thought of that before you left the house, mister."
1. Guys who drive only 160 in the left-hand lane.
Barbara "just another brickyard in his wall" Mikkelson
Last updated: 9 March 2006
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