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Austin, TX: Afraid of a lot of black people?

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by bigtexxx, Apr 3, 2009.

  1. bigtexxx

    bigtexxx Contributing Member

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    What are your thoughts on this development?

    http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/headline/sports/6357549.html

    Worried businesses close during Texas Relays
    Associated Press
    April 3, 2009, 1:13PM

    AUSTIN — Some popular downtown entertainment businesses and a shopping mall are considering closing or have already decided to close for the weekend during the Texas Relays track and field event, a move one civil rights leader says makes black visitors feel unwelcome.

    The businesses cite a variety of reasons for their decisions, including safety concerns, low revenue because many of the underage visitors prefer to hang out in the street, and exhaustion from last month’s South by Southwest music festival.

    The Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays at the University of Texas bring high school and college track athletes to town, and there are also numerous private parties at hotels, restaurants that attract mostly black attendees. Police have said the event does not draw any more crime than other large events here.

    Emo’s Austin, a live music venue in downtown’s Sixth Street district, will be closed, as will Flamingo Cantina, a premier Austin club for reggae music. It’s the first time Sixth Street businesses have ceased operations during the Relays. Highland Mall also will close early Saturday.

    “It’s counterproductive for us to even be open because of the craziness downtown,” said Angela Gillen, owner of Flamingo Cantina. “It’s kind of dangerous, and the staff doesn’t want to work.”

    Gillen said she could not point to a specific incident that has caused her to think the atmosphere is dangerous.

    “The shows that we’ve thrown in the past have not been successful ... Folks that come to that event aren’t looking for reggae,” she said.

    Nelson Linder, president of the Austin chapter of the NAACP, said that for years Texas Relays participants have said blacks feel shut out.

    “Unfortunately, it gives this city a very negative reputation when it comes to treating and welcoming African-Americans,” Linder said.

    Highland Mall near North Interstate 35 is a frequent destination for Texas Relays attendees. It will close at 2 p.m. Saturday “because the safety and security of our shoppers and retailers is our top priority,” General Manager Jeff Gionnette said in an e-mail to the Austin American-Statesman.

    Gionnette said officials decided to close because security officers the mall has used in the past “were not available.” He did not elaborate. Gionnette did not cite specific security concerns or respond to a follow-up e-mail.

    Austin police, who are ramping up for the weekend as they do during other big events, have said the number of tickets issued during Texas Relays in past years is similar to other weekend events, including South by Southwest and Mardi Gras. Police also have said that they typically do not see a rise in use-of-force incidents by police.

    Assistant Police Chief Patti Robinson said the crowd in years past has been different from the crowds at events like South by Southwest. Generally, she said, Texas Relays revelers are younger and not of age to go inside bars and clubs, and that leaves many of them on the street.

    Robinson said she was not aware that some businesses had decided to close.

    Bill Corsello, general manager of Emo’s, cited financial reasons.

    “We’ve tried stuff during the Relays, and year after year we lose money,” Corsello said. “We get about 20 percent of our normal crowd. People just want to be on the street. They don’t want to go into our club.”

    Not all nightclubs find that to be the case. The hip-hop club Spiro’s is packed during Relays weekend.

    “We cater to UT students, so student athletes come,” General Manager Josh Cisneros said. “If they come, everyone comes, from all the surrounding colleges. We will probably turn away 3,000 people Saturday night.”
     
  2. LScolaDominates

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    As someone who has experienced downtown Austin during the Texas Relays, this has nothing to do with race. Most of the party on 6th is in the street, as there are lots of underage folks running around. I would not be surprised at all if some establishments lose money because of this.

    Also, I'm pretty sure Flamingo Cantina is not scared of black people.
     
  3. TheFreak

    TheFreak Contributing Member

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    What about Highland Mall?
     
  4. LScolaDominates

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    That's a good question, but I would think that's a seperate issue from what goes on downtown.
     
  5. leroy

    leroy Contributing Member
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    I was a bit torn when I heard about this yesterday. On one hand, it looks bad. The owners can deny it all they want (and they probably aren't wrong), but it just looks like they're doing this based on the race of a majority of the people coming in town.

    On the other hand, I can't blame them. The mall, for example, will be jammed packed full of people buying nothing. People that actually want to buy something will go somewhere else to not have to deal with the crowds. I'm a little surprised by Emo's and Flamingo. I don't see how you deal with not being open on a weekend night.

    Don't forget that the Urban Music Festival is going on as well at Auditorium Shores. Don't make it out like the city is afraid of black people because that's just plain wrong. If that were the case, would they even have the relays and this music festival?
     
  6. Trader_Jorge

    Trader_Jorge Contributing Member
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    I've been in Austin during Texas relays before and traffic is a nightmare around downtown. Just a total disrespect for any type of rule of law. Honestly, it's dangerous.
     
  7. pgabriel

    pgabriel Contributing Member

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    I haven't been to the Relays in a long while, but they were never rowdy back in my day. I had a friend go to jail however one year over something really stupid. he slapped a police officer's horse on the rear, something he does all the time with his family's horses. the officer didn't like it.

    I hate to post stuff like this because someone always has something say like it was my fault, but when i was in school at austin, whenever a group of us would go to the mall, the police officer in Foley's or Macy's or whatever it was at the time would follow us around. and it would be really obvious. other than that, I really never had any problems there.
     
  8. JuanValdez

    JuanValdez Contributing Member

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    Sounds like they are afraid of teenagers more than black people. And, not so much afraid as annoyed. I can't blame them for that; teenagers are annoying.
     
  9. JusBleezy

    JusBleezy Contributing Member

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    leroy summarizes my thoughts on this nicely. It is a bit suspicious, but I understand why after hearing what everyone has to say about their reasoning.
     
  10. pgabriel

    pgabriel Contributing Member

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    a couple of things, the mall reasoning doesn't make sense because if its closed, no one can buy.

    the Relay's are a decades old UT event, its not gonna stop because they get a bunch of rowdy kids in town, regardless if the city is scared or not. I saw Carl Lewis and leroy Burrell and the rest of the Santa Monica track team in 93 at the relays
     
  11. Air Langhi

    Air Langhi Contributing Member

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    This is straight up racism. I mean Austin has many other events were a lot of (underage people) people come to the city. It is the capital of texas. I have been downtown during the relays its pretty crazy. It seems like every car has rims and four flip down screens. As long as you are with the right people and don't start stuff you will be ok.
     
  12. s land balla

    s land balla Contributing Member

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    Why don't they close everything when the bikers take over Austin?? This is ridiculous. And as for Highland Mall...were you any of you at theGalleria during the SuperBowl? It was jam packed..with all sorts of people..and I didn't see Gucci or LV closing down...maybe that's just cause Madonna and Justin Timberlake were also shopping...
     
  13. Tb-Cain

    Tb-Cain Member

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    here's the link
     
  14. Smokey

    Smokey Contributing Member

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    I understand the mall closing, they don't want people to loiter, I don't understand restaurants, bars, and clubs in the entertainment district closing. They live for big events...I guess unless the majority of patrons are blacks.
     
  15. bigtexxx

    bigtexxx Contributing Member

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    Austin is a very homogenous city (non-diverse), and the diversity that it does have is conveniently segregated on the east side of I-35. This event doesn't help their reputation at all.
     
  16. tinman

    tinman You want to protect the world
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    Highland Mall is hoody now. Nobody really shops there. Everyone either goes to the Domain or Barton Creek.

    I don't understand why people would hang out at Highland Mall anyways.
     
  17. KingCheetah

    KingCheetah несортированный
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    Ug, the Texas Relays -- it's like driving through Circle C.
     
  18. GladiatoRowdy

    GladiatoRowdy Contributing Member

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    Or if the majority of those cramming the streets are underage and thus unable to come into the club to purchase their wares. That was the reasoning I saw from the article and it makes perfect sense to me.
     
  19. Smokey

    Smokey Contributing Member

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    I don't buy it completely. Austin is a college town. I bet on an average weekend at least 50% of the crowd downtown is underage. Will there be more underage visitors during the Relays? Of course, but to shun the visitors of age doesn't make sense.

    Austin and APD can handle big events. So that's not an excuse.
     
  20. Air Langhi

    Air Langhi Contributing Member

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    How does this make any sense. If you go downtown during Halloween or mardi Gras there are plenty of underage people on the street, so many its hard to walk around there. They don't want a bunch of black fox. It is what it is.
     
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