50 Years Forward: Behind The Purple Drapes, Race and Sports In The Tragic City

Mayor William Bell spends $15,000 on purple drapes for his VIP box at the 2011 Magic City Classic
Mayor William Bell spends $15,000 on purple drapes for his VIP box at the 2011 Magic City Classic


In recent weeks, OD has been taking a closer look at Birmingham, Alabama, which is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the events that were the culmination of the Civil Rights Movement, and which were used to justify putting every city in America under the shackles of the Civil Rights of 1964.

Fifty years later, Mayor William Bell (the fourth black mayor of Birmingham) and the Birmingham City Council (7 out of 9 members are black) nearly succeeded in driving the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama out of the Birmingham region (the biggest sports event in the area which has a $28 million dollar economic impact on the city) on purely racial grounds:

“The weekend crowd of 83,564 was the best since the inaugural race and on Sunday, according to Zoom Motorsports, the promoter, there were 57,963 on hand.

Make that 57,964 spectators. …”

The 83,564 people who were at the 2013 Honda Indy Grand Prix this weekend set a new attendance record. As we have already seen, the Birmingham City Council refused to sign a long term contract with Zoom Motorsports because of the insufficient blackness at Barber Motorsports Park.

Although its patrons are hideously White, IndyCar racing is staying put in the Birmingham area through 2016 because the private event was so successful that it doesn’t really need the support of the City of Birmingham:

“It was news worth celebrating Sunday morning when IndyCarand the Barber team announced a deal to keep the race here through 2016, especially on the heels of the recent story that Birmingham Mayor William Bell was withdrawing his $1.2 million, four-year contract to support the race.”

The City of Birmingham, which refused to sign a $300,000 a year contract with Zoom Motorsports, has spent $64 million dollars to build a vanity baseball stadium downtown to lure the Birmingham Barons back from the suburbs in Hoover:

“City money to support this race is like change found underneath the sofa cushion compared to what was dropped for the downtown ballpark. In a weekend’s time, the IndyCar event brings more out-of-town tourist money into the area than three years of baseball.”

In one weekend, the Honda Indy Grand Prix brings more money into Birmingham than three years of the Birmingham Barons, but the City of Birmingham has spent 213x as much money on the new baseball stadium.

OD has learned that Councilman Steven Hoyt, who derailed the contract with Zoom over the insufficient blackness of Barber Motorsports Park, also attempted to sabotage Birmingham retaining the BBVA Compass Bowl in 2011:

“The council approved the ESPN contract on a 5-1-1 vote after discussing the value of hosting the game and hearing criticism from Councilman Steven Hoyt, who complained about a lack of diversity among vendors.

“I’m sick of folks coming here, getting the big contracts and not dividing the money among all radio stations,” Hoyt said, decrying what he called a traditional lack of promotional spending with small minority media outlets. “You don’t give this kind of money out without some plan or some reference point to what you’re doing.”

The BBVA Compass Bowl has an estimated $18 million dollar annual economic impact on the Birmingham area. After the 2013 BBVA Compass Bowl between Ole Miss and Pittsburgh (53,135 football fans showed up for the event in Birmingham), BBVA Compass pulled its sponsorship of future games at Legion Field:

“Our family attended the BBVA Compass bowl this past weekend. As a lifelong resident of Birmingham, I was frankly embarrassed at the lack of preparations made for the many visitors to our city. 

 The concession stand near our seats reportedly sold out of food in the first quarter. They were restocked and began selling food again in the second quarter, but they were serving unheated cheese on their nachos, they had no drink carriers, no Diet Cokes and no condiments for hot dogs. The fans around me were understandably furious and quite vocal at the lack of organization, hospitality and professionalism. 

I spoke with one man who stood in a food line for forty minutes only to find out that was no food left for purchase. He then went to another stand and waited again for an equally long time. A noon kickoff means people need to eat, and your lack of preparation grossly limited the ability of our visitors to enjoy the day. As for this one fan, he waited around 80 minutes of the game in line trying to feed his family.”

The facilities people at Legion Field were equally unprepared. By the second quarter, the floors of the men’s room were covered with urine and paper towels. I witnessed a parent carrying his son to keep him his feet from touching the floor. Why was there nobody there to spot clean as needed during the game?”

In 2011, the City of Birmingham pulled out all the stops and spent $604,703 dollars to host the Magic City Classic between Alabama A&M and Alabama State at Legion Field, which included $169,000 on entertainment, $30,000 on catered food, and $15,000 spent on purple drapes for Mayor William Bell’s luxury skybox:

“Among the expenses: $15,000 for draperies in an exclusive new seating area.

More than $169,000 in city money was spent for Classic-related entertainment, including $28,000 for performer and management fees, $30,000 for catered food and $10,000 for hotel rooms, according to figures obtained by The Birmingham News through public information requests.

In total, the city spent $604,703 to produce the annual matchup between Alabama A&M and Alabama State universities, which pumps millions of dollars into the city’s economy each year. Some City Council members say tens of thousands of dollars of those purchases were never approved, and they question the legality of some of the spending.”

Hotel records show that only 6,000 hotel rooms were booked in Birmingham over the two days of the 2011 Classic weekend – 55,000 visitors spending two nights in $100-a-night hotel rooms would have been necessary to make up for the $605,000 spent on the event by the City of Birmingham.

“Council members neither saw nor approved any of the spending for entertainment costs, including $6,700 for hotel rooms and $3,000 to rent furniture. And the city attorney said there was no reason for them to. The total city tab for the event topped $583,000.”

In 2012, the City of Birmingham spent another $583,000 on the Magic City Classic58,201 fans showed up for the 2012 Magic City Classic, which was down from the 66,000 which attended the same event in 2011, and nowhere near the 83,564 people who showed up for the 2013 Honda Indy Grand Prix.

Unlike the black patrons of the Magic City Classic, the 53,135 Ole Miss and Pittsburgh fans who showed up for the 2013 BBVA Compass Bowl came from out of state and stayed in hotel rooms in Birmingham, as did the 40,000 Kentucky and Pittsburgh fans who came in 2011 and left with the same negative impression of the city.

The most outrageous example of how the Birmingham City Council practices racial favoritism with taxpayer dollars in hosting sporting events was the $25,000 that was given to “G Entertainment” in 2010 to host the scam that was “Vulcan Bike Week” at the Birmingham Race Course:

“Vulcan Bike Week, scheduled at the Birmingham Race Course the first weekend in July, was billed as a major attraction. An estimate prepared by the Birmingham Convention and Visitors Bureau at Gibson Sr.’s request had estimated the rally could attract 25,000 to 30,000 people and have an economic impact on the city of $17.3 million.

The City Council on June 29 voted 4-1 to give Johnny J. Gibson Sr. and Johnny J. Gibson Jr. public money to help with the event. G Entertainment was given the $25,000 check just two days later, an unusually quick turnaround on city contracts and funds.

That night, the Gibsons moved the rally to Steele in St. Clair County. Attendance was dismal.

Bell has said the process by which the money was provided was council-driven. He said funding was rushed at the request of council members, and he would not be a “patsy” for them by accepting blame for the debacle.”

Councilman Steven Hoyt, who voted against the BBVA Compass Bowl contract with ESPN and the IndyCar racing contract with Zoom Motorsports, was so impressed with “G Entertainment” that he recommended funding Vulcan Bike Week without even performing a background check of its promoters.

If we look behind the purple drapes in Birmingham, we can see a clear and unmistakable pattern of how the entrenched black political class has favored spending on black sporting events over White sporting events, even when the black sporting events are nowhere near as popular or lucrative as their White counterparts.

How else can we explain the Birmingham City Council spending $583,000 on the 2012 Magic City Classic and $0 on the 2013 Honda Indy Grand Prix when 25,000 more fans showed up in Birmingham to attend the latter event? Has the Birmingham City Council ever shown any concern about the lack of diversity at the Magic City Classic?

In 2013, the City of Birmingham is run for the benefit of black people at the expense of everyone else in the area, namely the White people who pay the taxes that subsidize the favored black sporting events. The “colorblind” utopia that the Civil Rights Movement was supposed to usher into Jefferson County in 1963 sounds like a bad joke.

Fifty years later, we’re really staring at a smaller, poorer, more violent Birmingham which is run by a more incompetent and corrupt black government than the White government it replaced several decades ago.

About Hunter Wallace 12380 Articles
Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Occidental Dissent

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