Posted on October 7, 2021

Miami Beach Efforts to Tone Down South Beach Party Scene Are Racist, Critics Say

Andrew Mark Miller, Fox News, October 2, 2021

An effort by police in Miami Beach, Florida, to turn down the volume of South Beach’s raucous party scene is being labeled as racist by some critics.

City officials have been attempting to reduce noise levels and crime along the 10-block stretch of Ocean Drive known for art deco hotels, restaurants and bars, arguing that increased revenue from the partygoers is not worth the headaches for local residents.

“We cannot accept this as our normal,” Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber said. “What we have called an entertainment district has become an incredible magnet for crime and disorder, and whatever it provides in revenue is just not worth the heartache.”

Miami Beach, a city of 90,000 residents, is not to be confused with the much larger nearby city of Miami, which has about 450,000 residents. (Miami’s mayor is Francis Suarez.)

Some critics have deemed Miami Beach’s exercise as racist. These critics include former NAACP Miami-Dade County chapter head Ruban Roberts, who accused the police cracking down as “callous” and “overzealous.” Roberts added that Black tourists in the area were being treated “as second-class citizens.”

Some Black activists have accused the city of using overly harsh police tactics to disperse crowds and, on a larger scale, trying to attract only certain types of visitors, while discouraging others.

More than 1,000 people were arrested during this year’s spring break, when Miami Beach imposed a rare 8 p.m. curfew. Authorities sent military-style vehicles to disperse predominantly Black crowds with rubber bullets, prompting criticism from Black activists and spawning a parody on “Saturday Night Live.”

Last month, Miami Beach increased police and code enforcement officials covering the neighborhood to their largest number in history. {snip}

His long-term proposal would rebrand the blocks known as the entertainment district by hosting higher-end concerts and fairs, focusing on family-friendly events and marketing the city’s often-overlooked but impressive museums and symphony. He also wants to limit loud music and halt alcohol sales at 2 a.m.

The Ocean Drive closure, which remains in effect as the city maps out its future, has taken a financial toll on local businesses.


The majority of “problem tourists” are not college students, but come from out of state looking for trouble, city officials have said.