NAACP sues over alleged retailer discrimination during Bikefest

Publish Date: 
Jun 1, 2011

The NAACP is suing a pair of Myrtle Beach-area businesses, claiming they discriminate against black motorcycle riders. The organization alleges that the businesses discriminate against black motorcyclists because they close their doors during Atlantic Beach Bikefest, but stay open during the Cruisin’ the Coast rally.

Two businesses named in the lawsuits are Molly Darcy’s on the beach and the American Pancake and Omelet House. The lawsuit claims both businesses closed during Bikefest – also known as Black Bike Week – to avoid serving black patrons.

"For the past few years, Molly Darcy's on the Beach has refused to serve visitors of Black Bike Week by closing during its otherwise customary business hours," states a complaint cited at Courthouse News. The same is allegedly true of the American Pancake and Omelet House. NAACP claims the businesses shun black riders, even though Bikefest is more peaceful than Cruisin’ the Coast.

Also at issue are traffic lanes set up to manage rally traffic. NAACP claims the city’s "traffic management plan" to limit traffic on Ocean Boulevard is designed to hassle riders.

"The effect of the 'Plan' was to make it more difficult and less enjoyable for tourists and motorcycle enthusiasts to travel along Ocean Blvd.," the complaint states. It contends the restrictions are in place for only three days during Cruisin’ the Coast, but for the entire BIkefest.

The NAACP seeks court orders fobidding discrimination and a minimum award of $5,000 in statutory damages for each class member. The NAACP is represented by Peters Wilborn Jr. with Derfner, Altman & Wilborn of Charleston.

Posted by Holly Wagner