Why I Avoid Memorial Day in Miami
All year long there is at least a veneer of political correctness in this city. People at least pretend to be tolerant and respectful of other races and cultures. But not Memorial Day. Memorial Day is the one time of the year that pretty much everyone is open about their dislike of a certain segment of society coming to town.
THERE’S A REASON WE ALL LEAVE, AND IT’S NOT WHAT YOU THINK
For those who are unaware, Memorial Day weekend in Miami is an unofficial “Urban Beach Weekend.” Much less euphemistically, this means that South Beach is more or less filled with black people. What usually follows is a weekend with lots of arrests, lots of girls being harassed on the street, and lots of SUVs with rims that cost more than the driver’s house.
And so, we all make plans to go out of town to get as far away from it as we can. Why? Because there’s a bunch of Black people on the Beach? The knee-jerk PC folks would probably say so, but skin color has nothing to do with it. It’s about Hip-Hop culture.
You see, if the Association of Black Lawyers wanted to have a conference on the Beach, I’m pretty sure nobody would make a point to leave town. If the National Association of Black Accountants wanted to have its annual retreat in Sobe, I’m guessing the city would not hire extra cops with riot gear. But this is a celebration of Hip-Hop culture. A culture which mainly revolves around violence, drugs, misogyny and competitive conspicuous consumption. This then leads to fights, stabbings, shootings and all around nastiness for the City of Miami Beach.
The city’s many service industry employees also suffer during this weekend. When I was bartending in the Beach, a manager once told me “You will never work so hard for so little money than you will on Memorial Day.” He obviously never served in the U.S. Military, but I got the point. Most waiters and bartenders I know say they get more walkouts Memorial Day weekend than they get the rest of the year combined. And don’t even think about a tip.
And THAT is why locals avoid the Beach like the plague on Memorial Day. It’s not about skin color, folks, it’s about behavior.
RACISM IS AN EASY SCAPEGOAT
What I find most entertaining is people who blame this on racism. I read Uncle Luke’s column over in the New Times about it. I usually agree with our city’s favorite Hip hop mogul, but what he failed to realize here is that this isn’t about the City not welcoming Black people. It’s about the city not welcoming the many, many negative aspects of Hip-Hop culture. If people didn’t get in fights, and didn’t harass women on the street, and didn’t clog our streets “cruising” in rented Escalades, maybe we wouldn’t have a problem.
Luke mentions wanting to have an event like Art Basel or the Super Bowl (which he referred to as Lilly White. Not sure what beach he was on when the Saints fans were in town) for Blacks that the City would get behind. But you don’t see art fans stabbing each other over paintings, now do you? You don’t see Colts fans hollering obscenities at female Saints fans who walk by. When the visitors for Memorial Day can start behaving like our visitors for other festivals, the residents and the City will start treating them as such. Until then, the only smart Miamians who stick around to see this disaster will be the cops who are collecting overtime.
You Deserve More Than an Ordinary Vacation.
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