The reasoning behind Miami Beach declaring a state of emergency and enforcing a curfew this spring break appears to be racism.
Miami Beach, using the standard of "clear and present danger of a riot or other general public disorder," has previously employed such declarations for hurricanes, a global pandemic and the catastrophic collapse of a condo tower in neighboring Surfside. So the decision to elevate spring break crowd control into a community emergency has earned quick backlash from critics who charged that city leaders are overreacting, again, to large — mostly Black — crowds that have mostly been peaceful so far during this year's gathering.
"The only emergency is that Black people are on the Beach," said Stephen Hunter Johnson, a member of Miami-Dade's Black Advisory Board, adding: "I don't understand how this town has been doing spring break for at least 25 years and can't figure it out."
Michael Grieco, a state lawmaker and former Miami Beach commissioner, also said the step was heavy-handed: "The state of emergency is an abuse of governmental power, and it scares the crap out of me."