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The black community’s accidental freedom protests in Miami

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Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author.

It’s Miami’s turn to catch the wrath of the national media as thousands upon thousands of people flock to the beach for, “Spring Break”, with no regard for CDC guidelines. To their credit, things are generally out of control at a rate significantly higher than usual down there, as over the past six weeks Miami Beach Police Department has reported over 1,050 arrests, with 52% of them coming from people living out of state. They’ve also seized over 100 firearms and issued over 12,000 traffic citations. Those are just the official stats, but as any Instagram user will attest, there are a plethora of viral videos showing additional debauchery. There have been many very serious crimes committed, and the situation needs to continue to be de-escalated so that people aren’t hurt, but as the only person in the country to nationally defend Tampa’s Super Bowl festivities, I think it’s important that I point out the unforeseen silver lining of this chaos and come to the defense of Miami…my second home. 

As people party all night on the beach until the break of dawn, let’s get a few things straightened out about the narrative surrounding Miami’s, “Spring Breakers”. I’m using that term loosely because the vast majority of them are not in college, not teenagers, and not going down to Miami Beach because they are on a break from classes. We have to call a spade a spade; these are grown adults going down to Miami to release pent-up frustration with lockdowns by reenacting the party scenes from their favorite movies, live like a rapper for a weekend, and spend their newly acquired stimulus check. Now, let me be clear, I am all for this behavior if it can be done safely, as I think it’s important that the stimulus checks end up in the hands of those in the hospitality industry hardest hit by national lockdowns. I’d rather bartenders and strippers get the trickle-down effects of a $1.9T money tornado than direct payments to corrupt state bureaucracies and foreign entities any day. We won’t ever get the real data, but I would love to see a study that tracked the percentage of the stimulus package that was spent directly on trips to Miami; anecdotally from workers all across the hospitality industry more people have immediately returned to bars and restaurants following the stimulus check roll out, which happened to coincide with Spring Break. The hard truth is that the media is covering for entire racial groups’ fairly irresponsible behavior by labeling them all college students and blaming Ron Desantis for inviting them. That’s the narrative they so desperately want to run with, because it means that they can shift blame to a conservative Governor who is making the national administration look like incompetent bozos, and absolve minority communities of wrongdoing, but it is objectively not the case.

Something the national media needs to come out and acknowledge is that these party-goers are largely made up of Black and Latino people as evidenced by hundreds of videos and photos.

Every article I read seems to skim over the fact that it is the Black community leading the maskless charge down to Miami to break COVID protocols. It should be innocuous enough, but in today’s ultra sensitive, racial-narrative-driven media, it would go against the collective grain to call out minority groups for their “wrongdoing” during the pandemic. Not one outlet has called this, “Black Spring Break Superspreader Weekend” in the same vein that every major media outlet attacked North Dakota’s mostly white, Sturgis Bike Rally, which was unfairly categorized as a “White Supremacist Superspreader Event”. The differential treatment isn’t lost on those who have spent this pandemic being villainized for attending in-person events.

However, the glaring hypocrisy shouldn’t be the main takeaway from this article. I am not here to shame minorities for going out and breaking Miami’s 8pm curfew, dancing maskless in nightclubs, or even trying to say the media should be more critical. In fact, I am proud and inspired by their accidental actions as I, along with many other conservatives have been ranting about the absurdity of mask mandates, restaurant restrictions, and curfews for over a year now. I don’t think any of the tourists went down there with the intentions of collectively protesting government overreach, but they are doing a fantastic job of collectively protesting government overreach. The longer that thousands of Black and Brown people crowd South Beach maskless, the longer the government has to face increased scrutiny over its baseless actions when handling the pandemic. Once again, we are seeing that the policies that were put in place a year ago are completely and utterly statistically useless in stopping the spread of this virus.

Part of the beauty of the ongoing chaos on Miami Beach is the fact that the media won’t cover it with the same intensity that they did even for the Super Bowl last month, and certainly not as intensely as they covered Sturgis, or the Capitol protests for being “superspreader” events full of irresponsible degenerates. This means that the Black community has the opportunity to use this chaotic energy and channel it into a message directed at the administration that pandemic restrictions need to be lifted. Community leaders can use their status to advocate for more freedoms for the whole country. Black celebrities have an opportunity here to come out and support reopening the country and decreased restrictions. If this isn’t the time for the best man for the job, Uncle Luke of Two Live Crew to once again stand up for the First Amendment, I don’t know when it will be. 

The reality is, the Black community is just as fed up with lockdowns and mask mandates as the rest of us, and because of their placement on the liberal hierarchy of intersectionality, they can operate in a way that large groups of white people can’t when it comes to protesting irrational restrictions. If you want proof, I’ll challenge you to recall last year’s narrative when protesting for BLM was deemed an essential activity by all major media outlets and local governments, then compare it to the media coverage of CPAC or Turning Point’s SAS conferences. Whether they like it or not, the thousands of Black and Latino party-goers in Miami are the same as the conservatives who attended CPAC last month. Both groups are acting out of a love of freedom and independence while simultaneously giving Dr. Fauci and the CDC a giant middle finger exactly one year after the peak of this virus. (Oh, and both groups are huge 2nd Amendment advocates as well). This is why it’s so important that we don’t let the media divide the country along racial lines, because at the end of the day all Americans regardless of race love freedom, love capitalism, and we hate when the government oversteps its role in our lives. Some individuals just express those feelings by twerking on Lamborghinis down Ocean Drive, and that is perfectly OK.

Jake Hoffman

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