The 2011 Black Bike Week (May 26-30) in Myrtle Beach, SC just ended and the NAACP has already filed a class action lawsuit against the city for its alleged pattern of discrimination against black bikers.
Each year the civil rights group is in town to monitor fairness of rally compared to the Harley-Davidson event held the week before. During Black Bike Week, the NAACP hosts “Operation Bike Week Justice” to monitor police activity, traffic patterns and local businesses. Attendees can report incidents by calling a toll free number.
In past years the group stated that more than 40 percent of the businesses in Myrtle Beach have closed during Black Bike Week…Rev. Nelson Rivers III, vice president of stakeholder relations for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, said that NAACP focuses specifically on Myrtle Beach because of its “sordid and sorry history,” and because the city has “created an almost terroristic atmosphere” by unfairly prosecuting its laws more strictly during the predominantly black-attended Bikefest than it does during the annual Harley-Davidson Spring Cruisin’ the Coast rally and calling in too many additional law enforcement officers, which is intimidating.
“It’s the same stuff they say every year, and it’s as untrue as it was when they began saying it seven or eight years ago,” Myrtle Beach City Manager Tom Leath said. “We do not discriminate.” Over the seven years of Operation Bike Week Justice, the NAACP has filed more than a dozen lawsuits with the S.C. Human Affairs Commission.