By Paul Gable
The “Family Friendly” propaganda is out in full force as Myrtle Beach City Council prepares to debate an entertainment overlay district ordinance for Ocean Boulevard this week.
The ordinance would ban the sale of certain products such as hookah pipes, tobacco, CBD oil and what it calls sexually suggestive merchandise, all of which are entirely legal products, within the overlay district.
All of this is purportedly being done because these products are not considered “family friendly” by at least some city council and city staff members.
In attempting to explain the ordinance, Mayor Brenda Bethune was quoted in local media last week as saying, “I’m not saying that those businesses are not what we want, I’m just saying that there currently is some merchandise that is not really in the scope of being family friendly,”
And it’s not like the city is attempting to ban the sale of these products citywide, merely along a specially selected section of Ocean Boulevard.
Bethune again, “We are not trying to target legal merchandise and say you can’t sell this anywhere in the city. What we’re saying is there’s a perception issue with some of these products, and they do attract children, they are marketed for children, and that it does promote drug use.”
So it’s okay if these products supposedly “attract children” and “promote drug use” at, say, Coastal Grand Mall or Broadway at the Beach, but not along Ocean Boulevard?
Interestingly, alcohol products, beer, wine and spirits, are not on the proposed list of banned products for the overlay district, although it could be argued that the effects of those products have done much more to ruin families than hookah pipes and sexually suggestive t-shirts.
Of course the mayor and some of the most vocal supporters of this “family friendly” overlay ordinance own beer distributorships and/or bars and restaurants that sell things such as ‘liquid nitrogen cocktails.’
Considering what is on the list of banned products and what is left off, it is highly suggestive this proposed ordinance is not about creating a “family friendly” atmosphere at all. It appears to be targeted at a select group of businesses, owned by Jewish merchants, who are already experiencing a decline in retail sales.
It’s not that long ago that certain land deeds in Myrtle Beach contained deed restrictions prohibiting the sale of the land to Jews and Blacks.
Could this be an extension of the strategy used in the Superblock where the city swooped in and purchased vacant storefront properties in the name of redevelopment?
Should the city be in the business of purchasing, selling and/or leasing property, in competition with private business, rather than providing services which lead to an atmosphere where private business can flourish?
Or is this a Myrtle Beach Mafia style pogrom that seeks to put the Jews out of business?
The real question, however, is what gives the city the right to pass an ordinance dictating what legal merchandise can be sold in privately owned retail businesses and to apply the rules to only certain businesses in the city?
This is government dictatorship at a Soviet Union level by what appear to be a bunch of anti-Semitic fools.
It will be interesting to see if the ordinance passes and the overlay district is challenged under the provisions of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Questions such as those above will probably not be asked at Tuesday’s council meeting, when the ordinance is debated and open to public comment, but they should be.