Miami’s Super Bowl Secret

By Guest Columnist Dec 18, 2006

by Joseph Phelan The November 27th TIME article "Trouble – and lots of it – In Paradise" raised the crisis in housing, transportation, and political power in Miami to a national audience. The following week Miami Today, a publication of the Miami business and political establishment, published a story referring to the TIME article as “smear coverage.” Business leaders quoted in the article aren’t concerned about the complaints They are more worried about the image of the city. The widening gap between rich and poor, the displacement of entire communities because of gentrification, and the flight of working class and middle class people only matters as a public relations issue. Then The Miami Herald published an article on December 1st calling out all of the Miami “haters.’ Among the haters were Colorado Rep. Tancredo who referred to Miami as Third World nation. He blames immigration and a lack of assimilation for Miami’s failure as an American city. The article does not call out Tancredo’s remarks as racist and xenophobic as it should. Rather it insults cities in his home state because of their contribution to the immigration “problem.” Tancredo was right though. Miami is a Third World country, but it isn’t the immigrants demographics that prove this point. It is the gap between the rich and poor, the government corruption, and the enactment of local structural adjustment programs that cuts any form of social welfare programs while funneling public resources into the bank accounts of private interests. People of color are primarily on the poor side of the gap. One thing is clear as Super Bowl XLI draws nearer to South Florida, Miami’s business elite marketing teams are working full time on how best to sugarcoat this city and make sure the money keeps flowing into the pockets of the rich. But it’s hard to get to Pro Player stadium without passing through the Third World of Miami.