Re: June 14 letter from Betty Musselman, “Before casting Myrtle Beach residents as ‘racist,’ come see what happens during Bikefest.”
Musselman began her response to a letter by my wife by stating that she so appreciated my wife's letter about “Black Bikefest” until she saw that my wife lives in Carolina Shores, North Carolina, and therefore my wife has no first-hand knowledge of what the citizens of Myrtle Beach have to endure during this three-day period.
My wife, Carolyn Morris, is a 63-year-old black woman who was born in Brunswick County and has lived her entire life, as has her immediate family members, in Brunswick and Horry Counties.
She now lives two miles from the South Carolina line and does all her business (banking, shopping and the like) in the Myrtle Beach area.
Regarding Atlantic Beach Memorial Day Bikefest events, she began attending regularly many decades ago and was at this year's Bikefes and, yes, last year's “infamous” event, which spawned hundreds of critical articles and seems to be rippling over to this year's event, even though it was considered by law enforcement and planners as a success.
It seems you and my wife attended the same event but saw totally different things.
You wrote you were shaking your head and wondering what the grandmas of Bikefest attendees would think as “they trashed our city and urinated wherever they pleased.”
My wife is a black grandma and would do likewise but has not witnessed - in all her years of attendance - what you imply was taking place literally everywhere.
Did you really see someone urinating freely in your presence? Really? Did you really witness the trashing of the entire city? Really?
You wrote that you were embarrassed to see scantily clad young women seated behind what you repeatedly referred to as “rocket blast” cycles. I saw some, but none as scantily clad as their more pale-faced counterparts in bikinis and thongs walking regularly on the beach and on the very public Ocean Boulevard.
The title of your letter reads, “Before casting residents as ‘racist’, come see Bikefest.”
Does that mean once you have attended, you qualify as a racist? Of course that is not what you meant, just as my wife never wrote anything that would imply the residents of Myrtle Beach are racists.
They are not.
There is a rather vocal minority in this area which repeatedly groups thousands of black people with the bad behavior of the very few and use the annual Bikefest to vent what is in many cases an inbred and lifelong dislike of blacks.
Words used by this minority include thugs, barbarians and criminals, in lieu of the probably privately used n-word, and they always group the many as one.
That, Betty Musselman, is the hate-filled face of racism.
The writer lives in Carolina Shores, North Carolina.