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Racing fans: Safe to be aroundPosted Monday, October 15, 2007, at 9:35 AM
The vast majority of NASCAR fans likely aren't contagious.
But an official of the House Committee on Homeland Security suggested that staff aides get immunizations before visiting health facilities at Alabama's Talladega Superspeedway and North Carolina's Lowe's Motor Speedway, according to the Associated Press.
A staffer who works for committee chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., noted an "unusual need for whomever attending to be vaccinated against hepatitis A and B," AP reports.
Anyone who's been to Talladega knows it gets wild and the beer flows freely in some areas. But diseases? I don't think so.
I sense some class snobbishness on the part of a few elected officials, who likely seek NASCAR supporters' votes when it's convenient, and a little bit of attitude on the part of the Thompson staffer.
Too many people who don't understand the South and its people, or what I'll call the "car culture" in general, look down on racing fans. So do white-collar politicians who don't understand, or have never been exposed to, how people live in the real world.
But look around NASCAR tracks, and local tracks such as Duck River Speedway, and you'll see a lot of good people -- and potential voters for any candidate who reaches out.
Maybe we need to be vaccinated against politicians with attitudes. After all, attitudes can spread -- and we don't need any more snobbishness in the world than already exists.
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David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.
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