We must restore the image of our community

admin | 9/10/2011, 1:52 p.m.

The City of Miami Beach officials are desperately trying to justify their actions during the 2011 Urban Beach Week disaster. However, the images say it all the streets of Miami Beach were just as dangerous as the streets in Iraq or Afghanistan. Heavily-armed forces lined the streets of South Beach creating an element of fear and intimidation. By no means is this the typical hospitality extended to preferred vacationers. The City of Miami Beach was once revered as a first class tourist destination but not any more. Those days are long gone. Miami Beachs once stellar image as a haven of sun and fun has been tainted. We can thank the creators of reality television for our new villainous image. South Floridas image of being a vacation paradise began to diminish during the evolution of music videos that sensationalize criminal behavior, continually-emerging technology and the unprecedented popularity of reality television. In the media South Florida is portrayed as home to continuous murders, homicides, thugs, drugs, lewdness, whores, dope dealers, Medicaid fraud and career criminals. Television shows are inundated with scenes from South Beach of scantly-dressed bikini models gyrating their hips and wealthy entertainers acting as thugs all while living in South Florida. We even have a violent video game bearing the name of a local community in South Florida. Unfortunately, this is how the world views South Florida and this image is not because of Urban Beach Week. As residents of South Florida we know that these images do not depict how most of us live, worship, work and raise our children. However, with these images we can see just how one can misconstrue life on South Beach . Let's face it, most people outside of South Florida do not separate Broward from Miami-Dade and Miami-Dade from Miami Beach when one is portrayed as negative all of our communities suffer. Therefore, it would be to our benefit if the neighboring cities and local municipalities in South Florida come together and address the issue of the Annual Urban Beach Week. Although, the City of Miami Beach has made it a point to disassociate itself from the event and has made it absolutely clear they are not promoters of the event, it would be in the Citys best interest to become the event host. They should also be willing to take the lead and collaborate with other neighboring cities to make this a successful and safe annual event. Lets take the advice of our elders and put an end to dramatizing our social ills as reality entertainment for the world to see as a normal day in South Florida. Lets come together and work to restore the positive image of our multi-cultural community. by Queen Brown, Community ActivistQueenb2020@bellsouth.net