Welcome to Daytona Bike Week. Now Leave!
Not a very Southern way of being hospitable is it? Well, to some it may be the greeting they receive when they arrive in Volusia County to attend the annual Bike week event. I’m referring to the percentage of the participants who ride to this event displaying their patch logo or “colors” signifying their membership in a motorcycle-related club or organization.
Unless you’ve been under a rock or just don’t participate in Bike Week in Daytona, you can’t help but notice the “No Colors Allowed” on the entrances to various businesses during the event. It is my understanding that this more or less started in or around 1987 after an incident on the beach occurred. Then the signs started to show up on some local businesses and have increased annually at the encouragement of local law enforcement.
A certain high-ranking law enforcement officer has in not so many words stated, “Part of ensuring safety is the cooperation of bar owners to not allow colors in their businesses. Most motorcycle gang violence is known to happen over colors.” This was a statement he made to the Daytona Beach News Journal on March 14, 2018. That’s funny. I see more fights during Bike Week occur with citizens (Non-Patch Holders) than I ever had with any club around. I believe the last thing any club wants is a public incident that will bring any un-necessary heat on them. I’ve heard from confidential sources that have participated at the event in the past that non-compliance to post the signs could be non-issuance of permits for the event. That means not making any revenue at the biggest money-making time in the area. Seems like a bit of coercion there to me.
To take it a step further, it would appear that some law enforcements’ stance is that if you wear colors, you are perceived as a definite threat to the general public and should not be allowed entrance into said businesses for fear that what you wear will insight violence and mayhem. It is some law enforcements’ opinion that wearing a club’s colors makes you a “domestic terrorist.” How in the world can that even be possible you ask? Well, let’s take a peek at that. It’s a little thing called the Patriot Act.
Section 802 of the USA PATRIOT Act (Pub. L. No. 107-52) expanded the definition of terrorism to cover “domestic,” as opposed to international, terrorism. A person engages in domestic terrorism if they do an act “dangerous to human life” that is a violation of the criminal laws of a state or the United States if the act appears to be intended to: (i) intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination or kidnapping. Additionally, the acts have to occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States and if they do not, may be regarded as international terrorism.
This was passed by vote using your fears in hopes of false promises of protection. You gave away some of your rights with this one.
So how does this affect me Joe Rider? Well, here it is in a nutshell. The clubs mentioned in this article are “EVERY CLUB WITH A PATCH.” That includes Military Clubs, Veterans Clubs, Religious Clubs, Riders Clubs, and Civil Rights Clubs; any club that puts a patch on its back. You get to be included in this. It’s not just a 1% er issue. It’s up to Law enforcement to rule on how they want to pursue the end result. To harass or detain someone or exclude them from the entrance into a venue because of what you are wearing is called profiling people. It’s Illegal under the 1st Amendment.
I know when I served my country; it was to preserve my and every other American’s Constitutional Rights. Profiling riders for what we choose to display on our backs or wear on our clothing or scooters is a blatant violation of our constitution.
Edmund Burke stated. “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
What are you going to do about it when it happens to you?
James “Nefarious” Gladstone