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In South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley is proposing an end to the African-American tradition in the state where black bikers gather, but she hasn’t voiced any opposition to a Harley gathering of mostly white bikers.
The black BikeFest in Myrtle Beach began as a standalone event which allowed African-Americans to gather. Over Memorial Day weekend, three people were kιlled not far from Bikefest, causing Gov. Haley to request that the city stop hosting the event.
“Eight shoοtings happened during this weekend. Three people dιed. That is not OK for South Carolina,” Haley told the Associated Press. “This Bikefest does not represent the people of this state. It does not represent what we are trying to do when we promote tourism and jobs.”
Haley believes that BikeFest is giving her state a bad name.
“It is time for that BikeFest to come to an end, and that is the way I’m going to talk to the elected officials of Atlantic Beach,” she insisted. “I think it’s time for everybody in Horry County to come together to say, ‘No More.’ We are proud of our state. We are proud of the look of our state. We are proud of the actions of our state. We are proud of the people of our state, and the state deserves to be respected and the area deserves to be respected. It’s time for this activity to stop.”
But some accuse Haley of targeting blacks but not a Harley biker event, which is mostly white.
“If you’re going to stop the black bikers weekend, you should stop all biker weekends, regardless if nothing happened during that time,” Atlantic Beach resident Jennequa Miller told the AP. “That’s unfair.”
And as Atlantic Beach motel owner James Dewitt says, over the years the black biker event has seen almost no instances of vιolence.
“We’ve had no incidents at all. Not here and I’ve been here 40 years running the motel and 34 years I have seen the bike festival,” Dewitt explained.
Atlantic Beach Mayor Jake Evans has said he will not end BikeFest.