Until Tuesday, the organizers of the Detroit Autorama 2019 planned to open the show on March 1 with a jump by car made by a replica. Smokey and the bandit Trans Am Firebird. A few years ago, the Autorama presented a jump from one Dukes of Hazzard Replica of the "General Lee" loader, with considerable press coverage, including here at TTAC.
This year, the same group of automotive enthusiasts, Northeast Ohio Dukes, would be back on Atwater Street, behind Cobo Hall, only with a black and gold Pontiac, not an orange Dodge. With regard to the famous fictional car jumps, the bandit 's Mulberry Bridge is at the height of General Lee' s safe in the opening credits of the Dukes, and the Autorama jump would be part of. a more general tribute to the car show the late Burt Reynolds, a native of Michigan, who played in SATB.
Detroit City Council, however, put a mine on the jump, apparently under a nonexistent Confederate battle flag, voting 7-1 to refuse the jump. In the 1977 film, the Trans-Am Black and Gold carries a Georgia license plate dating back to the exact time at the front of the car. The banner of the Confederate war of plaque hurts the current sensibilities. The license plate does not appear on any photo or video of the Bandit replica of the Ohio group. A commemorative t-shirt sold for the canceled jump now features a caricature of a movie scene featuring the bandit with the stars and bars as well as the police's four-door police Pontiac Grand LeMans Sheriff Buford T Justice. cruiser. After the news of the Council's actions, Northeast Ohio Dukes insisted on its Facebook page that they had no intention of putting the plate on the car when appearing in Detroit.
The fact that the stunt car would not carry the flag and the fact that Autorama brings tens of thousands of fans and their money to downtown Detroit for over 50 years might have persuaded normal people to no stories, Detroit City Council is made up of politicians, not normal people.
Councilman Scott Benson, in Tuesday's debate on a jump permit, said: "Autorama, which has a history in the city of Detroit, also has a history of supporting images and symbols of racism, racism and racism. Oppression and white supremacy as well as house terrorism here in the United States. "
This "history of imagery support …" was apparently a reference to General Lee's 2017 replica jump and, hopefully, not an allegation that people with a sharp white hood clutter Cobo alleys every year at the beginning. of March. Autorama is full of hoods, but they are all on cars and are more likely to be tangerine orange flakes, baby, than whites.
It is true that the symbols of the Confederation have become a touchstone for controversy in recent years, but I must say that the hybrid rhetoric of Councilor Benson attacking the organizers of Autorama as racist white supremacists seems to me insane, of less based on what I saw during this event. Aside from the fact that there were a lot of African-American people watching the 2017 General Lee jump (I was there), flag or not, the closely related communities of custom, hot rod and drag racing (the official sponsor of Autorama is the Michigan Hot Rod Association) are the most ethnically diverse subcultures of the automotive world.
While the Detroit Region's Concours of America and Eyes On Design shows are far from 'lilly white', a more popular show simply includes more blacks, asians and Latinos attending Autorama than other two shows. I go to many car shows and the Detroit Autorama has the greatest ethnic and racial diversity I have ever seen. Not only attend, either. Owners and builders of black cars have been finalists of the Ridler Award in recent years. Similarly, salon organizers have placed the less talented riders of the Latin American car clubs in the foreground of Cobo's main lobby. It is a great honor in the world of customs to have your work in front of Cobo, where Ridler's finalists are presented. In conjunction with Low Rider magazine, this year's show will also feature 17 cars in the Low Rider Invitational magazine.
In contrast to the photos and videos of the Northeast Ohio Bandit Duke replica and group claims, Benson said after the vote that the Trans Am, "still proudly floats a Confederate flag, a symbol of the world." oppression, slavery and the house. American terrorism high. So, this body stated that we would not support this type of symbolism or the audacity to support this type of activity in the city of Detroit. "
Benson accused the northeastern Ohio duke of misleading the city about the 2017 jump. "The Confederate flag, symbol of all these artifacts, has been proudly sported in the last two years at an Autorama car jump when they came and expressly stated that they would not wear this symbol during the jump, "Benson said. "Come to find out that they posted this symbol, and it shows in the jumped videos on YouTube that they made on Atwater Street."
At the time, the North Duhio Dukes of Ohio told the city and the organizers to show that the flag being placed on the roof of their General Lee and that they were making a jump, it would not be visible to the crowd at the street level. Whether this claim is credible or not, the city apparently accepted it at the time.
After the vote, the media relations officer of Autorama declared that the organizers had made no comment other than the fact that they were trying to solve the problem with the city.[Image: Northeast Ohio Dukes]