They’re trying to cleanse the neighborhood of “toxic masculinity” …
New residents in Austin, Texas are on a crusade to shut down a long-standing car meet held since the early 1990s in what locals call “Chicano Park.” The new move-ins at a luxury apartment complex across the street called The Weaver have decided the black and Latino car enthusiasts don’t fit in with their vision of how the neighborhood should be. The lowriders, muscle cars, classics, trucks, donks, etc. playing Texas hip-hop and Tejano tunes while screeching tires, flashing elaborate paint jobs and sparkling chrome, etc. is simply too offensive for the sensitive tastes of the newcomers. Plus, the gatherings have been termed as a manifestation of “toxic masculinity” which we all know must be eradicated with extreme prejudice.
These new Austin residents should see what street shutdowns are here and then decide if these meets are really that bad.
One woman claimed the tire smoke from the events was killing trees in the area. She also threw out that the increased traffic would block an ambulance from getting to her – maybe because she knows being so tightly wound will lead to a heart attack sooner or later?
Residents have remarked the gatherings are “scary.” They even have hired a private guard to be stationed at the apartment complex during car meets.
Videos on YouTube of the car meets at Chicano Park in Austin stretch back several years. They portray an eclectic group of enthusiasts and cars, with just about every make and decade represented. Plenty of elaborate modifications abound, delighting the crowd. Friends and families gather to socialize while watching the vehicles cruise around the park. Children break open pinatas and people grill meat. Nothing in the videos seems to be genuinely disturbing.
A lot of gearheads know what it’s like to have one group of no-fun complainers get long-held events canceled. It’s happened in countless cities across the United States, sometimes because people at the gatherings have legitimately gotten out of hand but also because there’s a prevailing attitude among certain individuals that everyone else must conform to their extremely rigid viewpoints of public behavior, and that doesn’t include driving anything wilder than a Camry.
Ironically, the people at The Weaver, the new luxury apartment building across the street from the park, live in a complex that’s advertised as celebrating a “community that is rich in history and tradition.” Just what kind of culture did they expect?
The Austin journalist portrays this battle between longtime and new residents as an issue of gentrification. Since we’re gearheads we tend to see this situation as part of the ongoing war on car culture. Laugh at that if you want, but the conflict has been slowly ramping up, especially as some have decided being into cars is “toxic masculinity” never mind the fact there are plenty of women who engage in the hobby. As you can see in the videos, these events draw all ages of men and women.
While we certainly hate street takeovers and street racing, we don’t have a problem with people gathering in peaceful ways to celebrate their love of everything with wheels. It’s just like the push in some areas to shut down racetracks, which arguably could lead to more illegal activities as some are tempted to race on public roads instead. Car enthusiasts need positive outlets for their hobby, just like everyone else. If you try to sweep the culture away, the result will likely be more problems, mounting frustrations, and a big mess.
Source: Texas Monthly