Does Ann Coulter’s Joke About Black Tipping Hold Water?
As I covered recently, the race hate organization NAACP recently issued a goofy “travel advisory” for the entire state of Florida due to something about the alleged threat of White Supremacy™ to black people.
In response, the queen conservative troll, Ann Coulter, who mastered trolling before it became a term, issued a tweet regarding the widespread perception that black people don’t tip.
The TiQ (Tweet in Question) is funny ’cause it’s true.
NAACP issues warning to African Americans to avoid visiting Florida; employees in restaurant and tourism industry brace for 0.00 % drop in tips.
— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter)
Now, anybody who’s ever worked in the restaurant biz (FULL DISCLOSURE: I have) knows full well how true that is, and probably got a giggle out of Coulter’s, erm, “faux pas.” In fact, years ago when I was working for Outlaw Biker I wrote an article that touched on this, if somewhat obliquely; ever since, I’ve called it my one true act of Journalism, since I had to call around to various commercial and government entities in Myrtle Beach for research. To wit:
Leatherballs IX: The King is dead
REPORT FROM THE BONE ORCHARD: THE KING IS, IN FACT, DEAD
The contest for the future, if any, of the Myrtle Beach Bike Rally is over. Final score: everybody lost.
The soon-to-have-been 70 years young rally was more or less summarily cancelled by a consortium of city government, disgruntled local cranks, and transplanted Yankees outraged by the fact that the tourist area they had moved to in hopes of quietly living out their declining years was actually known to welcome hordes of free-spending tourists at certain times of year, and that in May, those hordes included—GASP!—bikers.
What’s been left unexamined, and practically unmentioned in all the commentary I’ve seen so far, has been the racial angle. Yes, brothers and sisters, there is one, it turns out. See, each year for the last 26, the week after the Myrtle Beach Bike Rally—which has always been primarily about Harleys, but in recent years has seen a growing influx of annoying rice-grinders—has been the week of Atlantic Beach Bike Week, almost exclusively the preserve of black kids whizzing around on Japanese sport bikes.
Atlantic Beach Bike Week has always been known, fairly or unfairly, as a pretty rotten week if you aren’t a black kid whizzing around on a Japanese sport bike. Business owners took to scheduling their yearly vacation-time closing when the black bikers were in town, a recurring problem that eventually got so bad the town’s government had to threaten business owners with sanctions and an ordinance requiring them to stay open for Atlantic Beach Bike Week. There has been talk locally for years now about finding a way to get rid of what is commonly referred to as “Black Bike Week”, and in the end the only way to do that was to get rid of both Bike Weeks. When the transplant population—apoplectic over the noise and general rowdy hoo-raw inflicted on their ersatz-peaceful little retreat (which has for decades seen literally millions of visitors per year, from all over the U.S. and Canada) every year by bikers both black and white—finally reached critical mass, the city council took action to do just that, by enacting all sorts of restrictions and regulations, some of them applying only during the rallies. The message behind them was loud and clear: BIKERS NOT WELCOME HERE. BLACK ONES ESPECIALLY, BUT WHAT THE HELL, WHITE ONES TOO.
How much of the problem with Atlantic Beach Bike Week is based on longstanding—“eternal” would probably be more unflinchingly honest—racial prejudice, and how much on actual, quantifiable bad behavior is of course impossible to know. It’s in the nature of dirty little secrets that they remain both dirty and secret, if not little. And obviously, nobody is much interested in breaking things down statistically by race and date, which would probably get them a big fat lawsuit and/or some sort of penalty from some government harmony-enforcement agency or other, making solid facts hard to come by.
And in the end, that’s not really what matters anyway, although I’ll say I’ve heard rumors of some tentative steps recently taken regarding possible future cooperation between black and white bikers, to see if there might not be a way to get Myrtle Beach to reconsider having cut off its economic nose to spite its quality-of-life face. I’m sure that’s a fine thing and all, but I suspect that the business owners’ reaction to this year’s utter disaster will accomplish much more than any outside efforts will.
The complaints about Black Bike Week I repeatedly heard from the restaurant owners I contacted—and even members of the City Council and Chamber of Commerce—were consistent, universal, and quite specific: aggressive, even outright threatening customer behavior; vandalism and/or wanton destruction of restaurant property; rampant theft; sexual harrassment of female (mostly WHITE female) restaurant waitstaff; the old Dine and Dash, Chew-and-Screw routine (eat nearly all of the meal, complain about its being “inedible,” and then leaving without paying the bill) and…piss-poor tipping.
Like I said before: if you’ve worked in the restaurant/bar business for any length of time, you already know what I’m talking about, and are probably shaking your head ruefully at your own unpleasant memories right about now.