Tolerant Austin, TX will not tolerate being made fun of
Austin, Texas is supposed to be capital of coolness, the hippest place to be for a certain kind of people. SXSW and all that. But city officials there did not take it well when a municipal employee enlivened a 45 page presentation by using a satirical map of the city to demonstrate a point about a street. Tony Plohetski reports in the Austin Statesman:
An Austin city employee is on leave, and the director of the city’s Transportation Department has formally apologized to a city commission, after a map used in a presentation labeled Austin neighborhoods “North Mexico” and “South Mexico” and “blacks resisting gentrification.”
The map, which the staffer apparently downloaded from the Internet, made the rounds months ago on social media as “Judgmental Austin” and “features derogatory labels for our city,” City Manager Marc Ott told the mayor and City Council in a memo late Wednesday. “Using this backdrop was completely inappropriate.”
The actual presentation and meeting sound deadly dull, in desperate need of a little humor to keep people awake:
The objectionable map was part of a meeting of the city’s zoning and platting commission focused on “street connectivity and strategic mobile initiatives,” Ott’s memo said. It was used to “emphasize the point that a street traverses many places.”
But no humor is allowed, when the targets are the “rich diversity” groups that Austin loves to tout.
Here is the map the unidentified employee used, with the street in question highlighted:
And here is the original map, which pokes fun at the city’s various neighborhoods.
Let's just say that the city oficials lost their cool.
Hat tip: David Paulin