Josh Reaume is a 30-year-old driver in the NASCAR Xfinity and Truck series, and in his spare time, he likes to doodle swastikas on Toaster Strudels and post pictures of them online, because scrawling racist symbols on the pastry is just one of those totally normal things well-adjusted people do, right? Haven’t you ever been about to take a bite of a danish and then paused, thinking “you know what would make this danish taste even better? If it hated Jews!” Sure you have. We all have. Oh, and NASCAR has suspended Reaume indefinitely.
The suspension happened because posting a picture of a Toaster Strudel with a swastika on it seems to violate NASCAR’s behavioral policy, a policy that I think covers swastikas on Pop Tarts as well.
Reaume’s original anti-Semitic-strudel post has been taken down, but it looks like it was screengrabbed by someone, and appears to be this image:
(Update Wednesday, November 11, 2:30 p.m.): This particular swastika-emblazoned Toaster Strudel is an old picture, and as far as we know, was not decorated or eaten by Reaume. The descriptions on Twitter all still suggest some manner of swastika-decorated food, however. We are attempting to reach out and find out exactly what the particular context-sensitive snack may have been.
Our initial analysis does seem to confirm that, yes, that is a Pillsbury Toaster Strudel with the included frosting applied in the shape of a swastika, in the orientation used by Nazis and white supremacists, and not the inverted version sometimes used in Hindu and Buddhist culture.
While polling suggests that most people view images of Toaster Strudels as positive or at least benign, the addition of a swastika changes the tone of the breakfast treat considerably, generally not for the positive.
Yesterday, Reaume tweeted the following statement about the Nazi-themed pastry, in hopes of clearing up why a functioning adult would take the time to draw a swastika on a toaster strudel and then post it online:
Ohhhh, oh, I see now! It was “taken out of context!” Gotcha. Totally get it now.
I mean, there’s got to be all kinds of possible contexts that would explain this! Just off the top of my head, here are a few:
1. He was drawing the Microsoft Windows logo on the strudel and wanted to document the steps in the process, and just forgot to upload the pictures where he adds in the final four frosting-lines
2. We didn’t get to see the other Toaster Strudels he had on the table with the Union Jack on them and the American flag and the Soviet hammer and sickle, all part of an elaborate all-Toaster Strudel-based re-enactment of the Battle of Berlin
3. Josh feels a lot of guilt consuming Toaster Strudels, many of whom he regards as friends, so to justify his devouring of them he can only eat the ones he considers “evil,” hence the Nazi strudel, which had been condemned to death in a jury of its strudel-peers
4. It was an accident! The frosting just comes out that way sometimes, and the picture was evidence to send along with his complaint and refund demand to Pillsbury
5. This is actually a powerful work of art that speaks more about the scourge of systemic cultural hatred than countless books on the subject and really should be on display at the Guggenheim
Look, those are just all off the top of my head as extremely plausible and reasonable contexts why this happened. I mean, it has to be some explanation like those, otherwise, we’d be forced to think that this driver whose best finish in 12 races was 17th was somehow an anti-semitic jackass who is so stupid that he thinks posting something insipid like this online wouldn’t have any extremely predictable consequences.
And we know that can’t be true, right? I mean, even if you’re someone who routinely writes racial slurs and offensive symbols on your “evening snacks,” you’d have to be an absolute drooling simpleton to post them online instead of just consuming them quickly and shamefully over your sink, right?
Nobody can be that stupid, right, Josh?
I look forward to seeing Reaume’s full reveal of the context where this swastika-frosted Toaster Strudel all makes perfect sense. I think that’ll clear all of this mess up, and I’m sure NASCAR will release the suspension.