NAACP members pack Miami Beach City Hall in fight to keep Urban Beach Week

Members of the NAACP attended a Miami Beach commission meeting Wednesday night to voice their views about ending Memorial Day Week celebrations in the city.

The holiday weekend, which is often referred to in Miami Beach as Urban Beach Week, has traditionally been popular among the black community in South Florida and across the country. 

And the NAACP believes that the city’s plan is targeting black beachgoers.

Last month, several shootings took place during the holiday weekend, including one officer-involved shooting that left a man dead.

Since then some have called for an end to Urban Beach Week, including Commissioner Michael Grieco. 

"There have been some statements made that everybody is welcome in the city of Miami Beach," he said. "Everybody is not welcome in the city of Miami Beach, if you're going to come here and victimize people."

"What are you insinuating?"  Ruban Roberts of the NAACP said.

"I offer no apologies for my race," Shirley Johnson, the president of the Miami Chapter of the NAACP, said. 

This year, Miami Beach officials approved a military air show to take place during Memorial Day weekend, and many saw the approval of the show as an attempt to change the party scene on the beach.

Roberts  said he hopes city officials can find solutions to work with those who support Urban Beach Week.

"I wouldn't want any group to be targeted in terms of saying that they're going to ban any activity or an event because of who they are," Roberts said before the meeting. 

During the meeting, Roberts told the commission he wanted the city to recognize the unofficial celebration and help keep it on the beach, adding he didn't want it to be racially targeted. 

"It's not about race, it's about safety," Grieco said. 

"It doesn't seem like it's equal anymore," Johnson said. 

"On what we'll have to disagree," Grieco said. 

"Play this tape back and listen to yourself," Roberts said.

His comments were met with applause. 

 

 

This BBSNews article was syndicated from News | WPLG, and written by News | WPLG. Read the original article here.