Monday, April 06, 2009

Mall Merchants Breath Sigh of Relief as Visiting Negros Leave Town

Highland Mall reopened this morning following their Saturday closing to prevent possible violence brought on by the 87th running of the Texas Relays. Jeff Gonnette, General Manager of Highland had closed the mall early “because the safety concerns of our shoppers and retailers is our top priority.”

 

Gonnette was apparently concerned regarding groups of negro youths circulating through the mall wearing their “gang colors”. According to Gonnett these gang colors mostly consisted of letter jackets and warm up suits with the names of the gangs emblazoned across the front. Names such as Cardinals, Tigers and Trojans struck fear in the hearts of mall shoppers last year as they invaded department stores and ordered pizza and sodas at the food court. Michelle Reamer, an employee of the Yankee Candle Shop said that she was “moved to call security last year” when a tall, athletic looking black youth purchased a candle from the store that he said that he was going to take to his girl friend back home in Ft. Worth. Said Ms. Reamer, “it was obvious that he had made the purchase to commit some random act of arson at the mall, him and his fellow ‘Mustangs’ in their green and gold track warm up suits . I called Mall Security and  they ran asses out of there. I’m worried that they will be back this year for revenge.”

 

Highland Mall ,which is off of St. Johns Ave. in Austin, a primary hangout for hookers and drug dealers, and is directly across the street from Sugars Strip Club, has never had to close its doors early for a security situation before. As Mr. Goinnette pointed out, “We have our share of hookers, strippers and dope dealers, but they don’t come in in gangs, they tend to keep to themselves while conducting their business in the mall and the mall parking lot. A lot of them only use our restroom for activities and never enter our stores, we can deal with that.” The problem is really the 1964 Civil Rights Act, if our stores could just prohibit the entry onto their premises of customers they do not wish to serve, then we would not have to shut down the whole mall. I tell our customers, if you have a complaint, call your Congressman.”

 

Austin, which claims to have the reputation as the most “liberal” of the big Cities in Texas, also has the smallest African American population of any of them. The annual running of the Texas Relays swells the black population of the city for an entire weekend  and according to some citizens, is the only time they see African Americans during the year. Certain bars and music venues on Sixth Street contemplated closing on Saturday night but finally chose to stay open because, as one club owner said, “ Sometimes you just do things that you don’t like to do for money. It’s only one weekend a year, and we still have the Harley Davidson Weekend to look forward to when all of those redneck motorcycle riders come into town. Those are our kind of people.”

 

Despite the lack of friendliness from the townies, most track coaches, athletes and their parents indicate that they will return next year for the 88th running of the Texas Relays, and  again spend the more than $8.5 million dollars that they pump into the economy annually. Pierce Snyder, a 17 year old Junior from Tyler said that it is “kinda fun here, you know we train and practice all year long, keep up with our studies, and everyone in school thinks that we are a bunch of goody two shoes athletes. Here we just put on our track warm ups and everyone acts like the “Boys from the Hood” are in town. We get a really good  laugh out of it. It was actually a relief that they closed that old dumpy mall this year, we got to see some nicer places instead. Austin is not too bad, I still may take the scholarship offer over at UT to study Biochemistry. Someone needs to raise some consciousness around here, maybe I can help. I’m sure not going to tell an one that I  once ran track though, these folks are sensitive about that.”

 

 

 

 

1 Comments:

Blogger Jannie Funster said...

If it weren't for your blog I doubt I'd ever hear a single bit of Austin news. Jim keeps the tube on on Fox national, and bytimes I have to pass through that room and may be subjected to some manner of news, but pay it no real mind.

But.

Had no idea of any such happenings at the Highland Mall. Stopped going there after they they closed that great little coffee shop on the second floor, near where the ball cap place was. Maybe the caps are still there.

I lie. I was in there with Kelly a couple- few years ago to the Disney Store, which is probably gone too.

Ah, it's all so fleeting, Wade.

4:12 PM  

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