4
| Columns |

Uncle Luke: The First 48 Gives Black Miami a Bad Rap

^
Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Miami and help keep the future of New Times free.

I've never been a fan of The First 48, the reality TV show that for 12 seasons has followed homicide investigators on the job. The Miami Police Department is one of nine agencies that allows ITV Studios to film detectives working furiously to solve a murder within the first two days of finding a body. My problem is that the majority of the Miami homicides on The First 48 originate in Overtown, Liberty City, Little Haiti, and other predominantly black neighborhoods.

The First 48 brainwashes a national cable television audience into believing these places are war zones. The episodes are like public service announcements telling viewers: "Don't go there."

Just imagine a family in Omaha, trying to decide what places to visit in the Magic City, watching Miami homicide Det. Kevin Ruggiero arrive at the scene where an 18-year-old African-American was shot in the head while riding a jitney. The show scares viewers into missing out on a big part of Miami culture, from Mama Lucy's Home Style Cooking, which serves the best ribs in town, to Big Night in Little Haiti, the monthly celebration of Haitian culture, to the big-rivalry high school football games that unite the community.

Info

The First 48 Gives Black Miami a Bad Rap \

No major corporation or entrepreneur would dare open a new business in Overtown or Liberty City after seeing all the violence plastered on The First 48.

The show also has a negative effect on people living in the hood. It's one of the most-watched programs in the ghetto. The show promotes the nihilistic outlook on life that infects so many young black men. Being profiled on The First 48 is attaining superstardom.

The show doesn't do anything to address the ills that make these places so bleak. It provides no context about the politicians who sell out the community to accused criminals such as Dennis Stackhouse, the Boston developer who falsely promised to build a $250 million biopharmaceutical park in Liberty City just so he could double-bill Miami-Dade County for $500,000 and pocket the money.

The City of Miami allows ITV Studios to profit from the blood of a predominantly poor, African-American constituency. City leaders should tell The First 48 producers to turn off the cameras.

Follow Luke on Twitter: @unclelukereal1.

Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.