The events of Urban Beach Weekend certainly have Miami Beach locals talking, but is it really an incident that the President of the United State needs to address? Gary Bauer, president of social conservative group American Values and a former Republican presidential candidate, sure thinks so, and is urging President Barack Obama to speak up.
Bauer is a former adviser to President Reagan and former president of the controversial Family Research Council. He also ran for president in 2000, and now heads his own social conservative group, American Values.
Taking Matt Drudge's racial flame stoking lead, Bauer has decided to group isolated incidents involving African American youth over the weekend and lump them together into some sort of manufactured crisis.
Here's an excerpt of a letter Bauer sent out yesterday to "Friends & Supporters":
I didn't comment on this yesterday because I wanted to gather more information, but I was stunned by many of the headlines I read in the past 24 to 48 hours. On the day of remembrance set aside to commemorate the sacrifice of so many U.S. veterans throughout our history, many American cities were the scenes of mob violence.
Riots broke out on the beaches of Long Island, New York, Carson Beach in South Boston, Massachusetts, Miami, Florida, and Charlotte, North Carolina, among other places. In each case, large urban crowds, drunken mobs and gangs engaged in random violence.
The president of hope and change has turned a blind eye to this urban chaos. I urge President Obama to speak up. He needs to remind urban youth that while other young Americans are risking their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan, it is unacceptable for thugs here to spread terror in our cities.
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Let's get a couple of things straight. Whatever happened in Miami Beach this weekend was not a "riot." It was also not a "warzone" or "siege" as some locals have described it. It was a poorly planned party weekend that got out of hands at time and led to some incidents of violence. Using loaded, over-dramatic language doesn't do anyone any favors.
Second of all, Bauer, many of these events have existed for year, and get out of hand every year. Violence and crime has been worse during Urban Beach Weekend before, like, for example, the years President Bush was in office. No one ever asked him to address it, though.
These are also all local issues that are completely unrelated and don't really need to be addressed together as some sort of indication of a disturbing national crises. It certainly doesn't help localities trying to deal with their own individual incidents during the weekend by lumping them all together and adding misinformed fuel to already high flames.