HipHopWired Featured Video

Source: CHANDAN KHANNA / Getty

The city of Miami Beach is actively prohibiting spring break visitors in a new campaign, with some feeling it’s discriminatory to Black people..

On Friday (March 1), the City of Miami Beach released a television commercial showcasing its new “Spring Breakup” campaign, which is designed to compel tourists planning to visit the city in March from engaging in violent and disruptive actions. The campaign was first announced in February at a press conference where details on the program were first released.

“The measures I proposed approved by our Commission will ensure that our residents, businesses, and visitors are safe and thrive during Spring Break,” said Miami Beach Mayor Steven Meiner. “If you are looking to cause problems, do not come to Miami Beach,” added Chief Wayne Jones. “We are fully prepared to ensure our city is safe for everyone. Our message is simple: we want people to enjoy their time here, but will not tolerate the behavior we have witnessed in the past few years.” The new rules include a flat fee of $30 for parking garages and surface lots in South Beach, and limited access to the beach begins at 6 p.m. with law enforcement conducting bag checks. In addition, police will employ license plate readers on certain streets and parking garages will be closed on high-impact weekends from Thursday to Saturday with towing rates set at $516.

The campaign for the popular 10-block stretch comes after several high-profile incidents have taken place there in recent years including back-to-back shootings that left two dead amid 573 arrests made in the area last year. While the campaign is welcomed by some who have been upset over the violent incidents, some business owners have expressed concern that it could hurt them. “This is devastating to businesses,” says Mango’s Tropical Cafe owner David Wallack. “It’s been devastating every year that [spring break] has been going on. This is even more devastating. It’s preparing for a war.”

It’s also gotten heavy brushback from those who say the rules explicitly target Black tourists, who’ve increasingly visited Miami Beach. They point to a state of emergency enacted in 2021 after shootings occurred. “The only emergency in Miami Beach is that there were Black people there,” said Miami-Dade’s Black Affairs Advisory Board member Stephen Hunter Johnson. Hip-Hop icon and 2 Live Crew member Luther “Uncle Luke” Campbell echoed those sentiments in a post on X, formerly Twitter, calling it racism.