Hip-Hop Weekend is an African-American arrest fest
Uncle Luke, the man whose booty-shaking madness once made the U.S. Supreme Court stand up for free speech, gets as nasty as he wants to be for Miami New Times. This week, Luke explains Miami Beach's plans to price-gouge African-Americans and put them in jail during Memorial Day weekend.
Miami Beach is bracing for Memorial Day weekend, which begins May 28. Right now, city officials are meeting with hotels honchos to remind them of potential fines for throwing pool parties. I wouldn't be surprised if some hotel owners are afraid the city will harass them with fire and code violations for the rest of the year. I bet the city is already letting media outlets know that police in riot gear and paddy wagons during the weekend will be stronger than ever to cage in the niggers.
Essentially, Memorial Day weekend is a multimillion-dollar nonevent to reward all the police officers and city employees for their hard work by paying them unnecessary overtime and charging it to taxpayers. Look at the preparation and you'd think the Taliban was coming. Sadly, it is a reflection of how Miami-Dade County treats young, professional African-Americans from out of town. I tried for many years to work with Miami Beach and the county to put on an event that all of us can be proud of, such as the Super Bowl, Art Basel, and the South Beach Wine & Food Festival — all lily-white events that the city welcomes.
You would think in this day and age, Miami Beach would stop treating black people like second-class citizens and appreciate the economic boon Memorial Day weekend brings to the city during a time when few tourists arrive here. You would think government would use those dollars for something other than an arrest fest to lock up tourists who visit the beautiful beaches and nightclubs they see in music videos.
The city and the county need to take cues from places like New Orleans and Toronto, which help organize festivals to celebrate black and Caribbean cultures. In New Orleans, they have the Essence Festival. In Toronto, it's Caribana. Both events last several days and feature concerts and block parties. They welcome people of color. New Orleans and Toronto don't put cops on every corner as if black people are coming to tear up the town. When you show that much police force, you are saying a certain type of people is not welcome.
Businesses in Miami Beach are guilty as well. The hotels require you to book a minimum of three nights to get a room. They make blacks pay jacked-up prices for parking and drinks at the club. The other night, I was at Club Dream for a party put on by Minnesota Vikings offensive lineman Bryant McKinnie, and valet attendants were charging $80 for VIP parking. Two weeks before, I went to Club Dream and the VIP parking was only $20. That sums up the mentality of Miami Beach business owners.
The day is going to come that another city will welcome African-Americans on Memorial Day, and the economic boost these people give to the Beach will disappear. That is going to have a deep impact on the pockets of the people who own businesses in Miami Beach. They rely on revenue from Memorial Day weekend to get them through the slow summer season. Miami Beach needs to get its shit together and roll out the welcome mat.
Follow Luke on Twitter: @unclelukereal1.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Miami New Times' biggest stories.