Biker rally marred by lawsuit - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

5.23.03

Biker rally marred by lawsuit

They have cruised hundreds of miles for a weekend of fun, but many of African-Americam bikers are starting to feel like they are the ones being taken for a ride.

"Just treat us the same was they treat everyone else. Treat us equally," said Kevin Boseman, who has been riding in for the Atlantic Beach's Biker Week for almost ten years.

Echoing the lawsuits filed by the NAACP, he claims grand strand towns and their police are tougher on black bikers, compared to the largely white crowd at the Harley Davidson rally, held two weeks earlier. Myrtle Beach is named in that suit.

"It's absurd to think Myrtle Beach is doing this because of race. It's because of traffic patterns and things as tedious as trash," said the city's spokesperson Mark Kruea

The NAACP also filed a complaint against more than two dozen hotels and restaurants, accusing them of making black bikers pay more and in advance. It also states that they refused to serve them, by shutting down.

One restaurant named in that complaint has a pretty good reason to close its doors. A barricade has been put up right in front of it, meaning, if it calls any of its employees into work, it would take hours for them just to get into the parking lot."

"I've got a family to feed, I'd rather be open. It's not a black-white issue. This is frustrating," said Jeffrey Butler, who was named in the complaint.

Most bikers admit the problems are not-wide spread, but, until now, were largely ignored.

"We [initially] said we're not coming this time, but we didn't want to run away from something we enjoy doing. That's why we're back this year," said biker Nardo Johnson.

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