At every sporting event in the United States, large or small vending and tailgating is an extremely common occurrence. In Horry County South Carolina, the local Hispanic community have a soccer league where on average 150 people attend each game. At each game local vendors sell food and other items to the soccer fans. The vendors are a part of the community and are widely accepted by both fans and players alike. This peaceful community coexistence was broken recently by the local chapter of the Minutemen Civil Defense Corps. The minutemen with the backing of Horry County officials succeeded in banning 5 vendors from selling items at the Sunday league. The minutemen are now enlisting the help of the local police department to enforce their new “no vending” policy.
The minutemen argue that there is nothing in their codes that allows vendors to sell items at the games on a weekly basis. A spokeswoman for the county stated, “They told the five vendors who were there that they could not come back. There is nothing in our codes that would allow them to do that week after week. If they had an annual event or a championship, that could be looked at as a possibility for vending, but it can’t be every week,”
The banning of the vendors is nothing short of blatant bigotry. It is quite clear the minutemen are shutting down the vendors because of the color of their skin. They go out of their way to disrupt the lives of innocent people who are only trying to earn a few extra dollars by selling food and other items at a sporting event. The minutemen campaign against illegal immigration but in the case of the vendors, how are they to know if the vendors are citizens, legal residents or undocumented immigrants? For the minutemen every Hispanic must be treated as an illegal immigrant. I’m quite sure that white vendors would be permitted to sell items at the Horry County minutemen’s softball league.
I would understand if the County wanted to stop the vendors if they were selling illegal drugs or stolen goods at the soccer games but preventing them from selling food items to the fans is ridiculous. The minutemen must be either completely pathetic individuals or live very boring lives if they are spending their time and energy trying to stop 5 vendors from selling items on a Sunday afternoon at a sporting event that draws an average of 150 people! The Sunday soccer league is not the only local sports league in the County but I haven’t heard any news stories of police patrolling these other leagues on the lookout for vendors. In recent years there has been a major increase in the number of counties nationwide that are swaying under the influence of the local chapter of minutemen. It seems that Horry County has also fallen into this dangerous trap. But as we see in this example, the minutemen of Horry County are doing much more harm than good. They are deliberately targeting a specific section of the community without any evidence or justification. The minutemen claim that they are there to “protect” the local community but in almost all cases the end result is not protection but fear and division.