Broward Carnival 2007 - Underlying Issues Revealed

Wednesday, September 12, 2007 Clivia R 2 Comments

So....I saw this article a few days ago, and like i said in a previous post i feel for the band leaders and masqueraders that have chosen to be In Broward. I read the article and didn't try to be biased in any way..these are just excerpts you can see the whole article here.
The costumes already are sparkling, the vendors lined up, and an advertisement blitz well on the way.

But the Broward Caribbean Carnival, which attracts thousands of visitors and artists from as far as New York and the Caribbean, is homeless a month before the event.

On Thursday, a day after Miramar city commissioners voted against hosting it at a local park,supporters started an international e-mail campaign to demand that city and Broward County officials help find a venue for the event, which draws more than
15,000.

"The Caribbean community is coming together and seeing this as an affront not just to this event, but the community in general," said Tanya Ragbeer, immediate past president of the Greater Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce. "This carnival has been knocked around for too long now, and it needs a home. Unless we have the support of these commissioners, that will never take place."

On Wednesday, Miramar commissioners voted 3-2 against hosting the event, citing the size of the crowd, parking, litter and problems at former sites as insurmountable. Commissioners Winston Barnes and Fitzroy Salesman, the two Caribbean commissioners on the board, voted in favor of holding the event at Miramar Regional Park on Oct. 7.

"I am concerned that this event has a track record where no one has allowed them to come back," Miramar Mayor Lori Moseley said. "When I approved that park, I didn't approve it for events of over 10,000 people."

Salesman said if organizers address the city's concerns, the event could be successful. He urged his fellow commissioners to remember that more than 25 percent of Miramar's population is from the Caribbean.

"There's been no fighting, no shooting, no deaths," Salesman said of the Carnival's track record. "What is it that we're afraid of?"

The controversy surrounding the event is the latest episode in the carnival's short,
tumultuous history in Broward County and highlights a growing problem in South
Florida, where Caribbean festivals are proliferating and cities willing to accommodate them are becoming scarce.

Wexler said she received several complaints about last year's event, held in her district.

"The attendance was far higher than what was planned for. There was not enough
portable toilets and a number of complaints were about people using the woods as
toilets," Wexler said. "People also complained that there were not enough
police."

To control the crowd this year, organizers initially agreed to pre-sell tickets and have no on-site sales. Organizers also agreed to pay the city a fee of $70,000 for 50 police officers, fire rescue permits, clean up and other costs. Organizers had hired their own help for some of those services in the past.

But some city commissioners said they were not convinced the group could keep the crowd to 15,000. They also said the carnival lacked detailed plans on where festival patrons would park.

When asked whether the county could help secure a site for the popular event, Wexler said, "I don't have a problem having the conversation. But right now we don't have a lot of extra money. We had to cut $95 million and are looking at increasing the cost of entry to parks. This is not the year to say we could be a partner."

As Miramar resident Ruby Allison Limere added last minute touches to carnival
costumes on Thursday, she wondered if Miramar officials didn't want the carnival
because of who attends.

"I think there's a prejudice," said the Trinidad native who heads the Major Players Band. "To wait days before and then tell us we can't have carnival there is unethical."

Miramar officials say race never entered their minds.

"This is not a decision based on race or culture," Miramar Commissioner Troy Samuels said. "This is a decision based on the inability of the carnival organizers to manage the operational portion of the event."

Andy Ansola, president of the Broward Carnival Inc., said the event would go on. But he wouldn't provide details.

"There are lots of people out there who don't want the event to happen," he said. "At this point, I don't want to disclose our plans."

Alva James-Johnson can be reached at ajjohnson@sun-sentinel.com or 954-356-4536.


The Comments AFTER the article though were scary enough to give me pause:

Oh Brother Commented:
ViVe Honduras..if your so viva honduras, why arent you
there trying to fix that country up instead of here siphoning money from the
economy and no doubt sending it back there, Hey Asha, white people dont unite,
we are just here, living our lives, we dont hyphenate ourselves, we are
american, not honduran-americans, jamaican-americans, trinidad-americans, we are americans and dont need no festivals to be proud of who we are..i dont go around
and say, hi im tom irish-american proud to meet ya..give me a break...And the
ONLY ONLY flag flying on my car and rearview mirror (unlike all you invaders) is
an AMERICAN flag...can you say the same thing, i doubt it.

BAM from Pompano Beach:
Why dont they move it to Jamaica, or Trinidad, or the Bahamas. And everyone who attends, how about staying there! Take your crime and drugs with you. Dont worry ,soon, every commissioner will be from da islands mon, so you'll run everything, and dont have to use the racial copout/excuse
.

Joan From Boca
SEND IT BACK TO THE CARRIBEAN -- THEY ARE NOW IN A-M-E-R-I-C-A!
IF THEY WANT TO CELEBRATE THE CARRIBEAN THEN GO BACK THERE!

Matt from Boca
Great post! If you love your Country so much, do us all a favor and go back.

Can you believe this? It gets worse and worse after that. Aren't we all from somewhere else? Is everybody walking around with this prejudice in their hearts?? These comments hurt worse than the alleged race card that is being hinted at in the article. I don't know what more to say. It's just ....well ..awful.

2 comments:

Bagogyul said...

Wow!
This is why ONE carnival is a Must!

HQ said...

South Florida is an interesting place as far as race relations. My parents have lived there for years, I have witnessed a lot of stuff. I think part of the problem is the communities are segregated there, it's not like NY where everyone is pressed up against one another (and we have our fair share of race relation problems as well).

From an economic standpoint, Broward is being ignorant. This event generates so much money! Now they won't even get a piece of the pie, not even lodgings. Why stay 45 mins away in Ft Lauderdale if you are going to be in Dade?

I for one am glad this is happening. Maybe the Caribbean citizens in Broward need to band together and figure something out. Or maybe there no longer needs to be a separate one...band together and make Miami carnival the biggest one- to rival Caribana & NY!!!