Uncle Luke, Co-Founder of Urban Beach Week, No Longer Attends Event

CBS (Miami), June 2, 2011

Although he was one of the early pioneers of Miami Beach’s Memorial Day hip hop extravaganza, even Luther Campbell says he no longer makes his way to South Beach during that weekend because it’s become too rowdy.

“Just walk the streets, get drunk, be rowdy, go to jail,” Campbell told CBS4’s Jim DeFede in describing what the event has become. “Me personally I wouldn’t even go over there. I haven’t been there probably in the last two or three years.”

Campbell has a long history with the affair. Initially the weekend started in the Nineties as a fashion event for designers geared toward the African-American community. It continued to build over the years, with as many as 250,000 people descending on Miami Beach for the long weekend.

In 2001, however, the event went out of control–with fights breaking out on city streets. The police were overwhelmed. Campbell and others rallied to the city with offers of help. There argument was simple: South Beach clubs can only hold 7,000 people so events need to be planned for those who can’t get into the clubs.

{snip}

“The people that were originally coming down here were young professionals,” he said. “Then it became this free-for-all for the last five years where it became kids, thugs that type of element.”

This year the event ended in a barrage of gunfire. One person was killed in the melee that saw a dozen cops firing more than 100 rounds at the driver of a car that allegedly attempted to run down five police officers.

{snip}

“It’s definitely something that has to end, after a decade of this we just need to say goodbye,” said Peter Tapia, a Miami Beach resident who created a Facebook page dedicated to ending the hip hop weekend street party.

In the first 24 hours more than 1,500 people signed up on his page. Currently there are nearly 4,000. Tapia and others are organizing a rally in front of Miami Beach City Hall Friday at 6 pm.

“It should not be on our streets, it’s just devastating,” Tapia said of the street party. “There’s looting. I took pictures of dozens of cars windows that have been bashed in. There have been sexual acts in the street. I’ve seen women get groped and they just keep walking; there is nothing they can do.

{snip}”

That notion of a racial component to the criticism makes the issue extremely difficult for city officials and critics of the event.

“It has nothing to do with being black and I think that is something we have to let people know and be clear about that because there is nothing racist about that,” Tapia said.

{snip}

He [Campbell] said if the city and event organizers did that, then it would attract the type of crowd Miami Beach would want. As it stands now, Campbell complained, Miami Beach officials are running the risk of creating the perception that blacks are not welcome on the Beach.

“What I am worried about is the backlash,” Campbell said. “You have cities around America where African Americans know that they are not wanted because of some racial statement or some sort of ordinance that was put in to prevent African Americans from coming to that city. I don’t want that to happen to my town.”

{snip}

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  • Anonymous

    “What I am worried about is the backlash,” Campbell said. “You have cities around America where African Americans know that they are not wanted because of some racial statement or some sort of ordinance that was put in to prevent African Americans from coming to that city. I don’t want that to happen to my town.”

    And yet he doesn’t even go to the event because it is too rowdy? Truly the mind and thought patterns of a child.

  • Tim Mc Hugh

    “After a decade of this we just need to say goodbye.” Good advice. I was running my own hand painted tile company but was to proud to admit defeat. It was the kind of gig where youd breathe dust all day and still almost lose money. Then I happened into a friend from high school who had bought a bar years ago. He told me he closed it. “Just because I`ve done something twelve years doesn`t mean I have to do it thirteen…” I mention this only because it set me free from the hand cuff of tradtion gone sour and lost causes. And I think that`s a good thing.

  • sbuffalonative

    “Me personally I wouldn’t even go over there. I haven’t been there probably in the last two or three years.”

    Mr. Campbell is a rap ‘artist’ who can take credit for promoting and glamorizing the black thug ‘culture’ he now eschews.

  • Anonymous

    “I’ve seen women get groped and they just keep walking; there is nothing they can do.”

    This is a common occurance at Puerto Rican Day Parades (see Central Park, June 2000). But often Latinas are smart enough to carry a weapon.

  • Tim Mc Hugh

    Sorry about my off topic post on saying good-bye but I just realized the perfect target audience would be people putting up the house for collateral on the failing restraunt they hate being at anyway!! Good advice about moving on.

  • Mugged by Reality

    Tapia said:

    It has nothing to do with being black and I think that is something we have to let people know and be clear about that because there is nothing racist about that.

    Minor correction: “It has everything to do with being black…and there is nothing racist about that.”

    Fixed.

  • olewhitelady

    Luther Campbell, you are ignorant. There are no American cities that have ordinances preventing blacks from coming there, or–to my knowledge–were there ever (and I read a book about sundown towns where blacks were not allowed after dark).

    Since the legal institution of Civil Rights, blacks have gradually become more and more brazen. Now, with Obama in office, they’re becoming absolutely out of control.

  • Kinda Scary

    This, and other posts about moblets breaking into stores and being effectively lawless for a time, is frightening. As our population increases and people learn about this possibility, well we might well see an increase in this, these mobs have real power; it would be bad if people got to like the power and looked to use it more often and more purposefully.

  • Anonymous

    1. It’s no longer what it used to a be: a legitimate fashion world event for upper middle class blacks. It’s a street orgy. Having morphed from it’s legitimate role, why endorse what it now is as if both have the same legitimacy?

    2. If the kinds of special guests and activities that Campbell suggests were possible, it would have been done. The type of people who go to these raves aren’t interested in food tastings and Aretha Franklin. They want cheap off-street parties with drugs, booze and sex. Lower class black entertainment.

    That they won’t pay for the higher end stuff should be obvious in Campbell’s own classification of ‘kids, thugs that type of element.’

    Kids don’t have comedy club or a-list musician money. Thugs aren’t there to spend but to earn.

    The black yuppy audience (such as it is) left when Campbell did. Even if they came back, they would only be a -fraction- of the total group numbers of 300,000.

    The other poster was right. It is racial. Blacks in numbers are a street crime or gang fight waiting to happen. For whites and to a lesser extent, hispanics, this is not so which is why our art festivals and the like get invited back, year after year.

    That and we actually pay to play at an economically feasible level.

  • steve2

    Next time, they shouldn’t be given a permit to have this event. And if the NAACP wants to protest that, they shouldn’t be given a permit to protest. In fact, all of these “urban” festivals should be banned by cities because of the violence that happens there.

    There’s got be legal reform in this country so you can’t sue for racism at the drop of a hat. The NAACP and other groups like it would be out of business if it happened.

  • Sardonicus

    I can’t help but think that Uncle Luke (a sell-out) is now working with that frightful bigot Matt Drudge. I first read this on Drudge’s black crime update blog = Drudge Report. Everyone has been told that crime is going down fast. Why won’t they believe the controlled media? The sheeple can be very stubborn at times. By the way, on some days, I’d like to knock that fedora right off Drudge’s head! He promotes racial fears by his frequent and unnecessary crime reports and downgrades our rock-solid currency with this anarchistic, libertarian gold advocacy.

  • John

    UNCLE LUKE, quit worrying, there is nothing going on here out of the ordinary, anytime you have groups of blacks there is trouble it must be because of RACISM but don’t you fear were told the blacks are the seed of the human race? What in the world happened to that poor seed it never grew into anything of value in fact it is like a weed in the garden of life.

  • Anonymous

    A generation (or two) grows up hearing that rap is an art and just fine, and the cities are surprised when those who grew up with thug lore act like thugs? Huh.

  • Anonymous

    I work and live in south beach. I can safely tell you all now that I will not be living in Miami Beach any longer after this years event. Last year and for the years prior to it it has gotten increasingly WORSE. I have seen with my own eyes women being thrown to the ground and stepped on by men, men stabbing other men and then grabbing for wallets and running away, I have seen children afraid to tears to even walk in the streets with their parents, and I am just done. The police in Miami Beach are the most corrupt group of officials I have seen in ANY city in the world in my whole life. What can be done to stop the madness? NOTHING! Is this a racial issue? DON’T LIE! It is 100% a racial issue and the people that come here know it. They take advantage of the idea that they can do whatever they want, they steal, rape and kill. This is not a city to live in when the government of our city doesn’t care at all about what happens to it’s people… all they care about is the money coming in from permits. I want to see ANY ONE of the officials of Miami Beach, spend 2 hours on Saturday night in South Beach during this “urban weekend”! ANY ONE!!!