What's that say? Ocean Boulevard's vulgar walking billboards
Mon, 02 Jul 2012 20:50:20 GMT —
Take a stroll along Ocean Boulevard's gift shops in Myrtle Beach, and you'll see clothes branded with blunt and obscene language.
"When I see something like that, as a mother, it really does bother me," said vacationer Marie Mills. "Especially when I see something that says 'Party with the s****'. To me, they shouldn't have shirts like that out."
Apparel shops along the boulevard include shirts and shorts with 'Come at me with that s***', 'I have a nice fat a**' and 'Down to f***' as fashion. But the vulgar words are for all to see and not blocked out.
"They have them all over the place down here," said Mills. "My daughter's only eleven... I know you can't shield your children all the time, but I try to."
Monday afternoon, vacationer Joshua Suey bought a shirt with such a saying on it.
"Sometimes the older guys get p***ed off because they have kids walking around," said Suey. "But I don't care."
Suey's hat read 'F*** me I'm famous'. He doesn't believe his age is why he wears clothes with obscene language.
"It's like a fashion thing. If one person's wearing this thing then people are going to wear it," said Suey. "I think ten years from now, we probably won't even remember this stuff."
Myrtle Beach Police Captain David Knipes said complaints about the clothes do come into the station, but they are rare.
"We do see people wearing them. We do see them in the stores and basically what we ask for is voluntary compliance," said Knipes. "We'll ask somebody if they'll kindly turn their shirt inside out."
Knipes said from a police standpoint, there is not much officers can do to get store owners to take the merchandise down.
"They have a constitutional right to do this, and we can't violate their constitutional rights. We may talk to them and say, 'Hey, that might be a little inappropriate and could you take that down?' But really, the choice is up to them."
The right to display language freely is protected under the First Amendment Freedom of Speech.
"People are upset about it, but they understand," said Knipes. "They realize that there are laws that we have to go by as police officers in the community, that there are constitutional rights that everyone has in this country. Whether we like it or not, they have the right to express themselves."
Two different apparel store managers declined an on-camera interview. But both said they put the clothing in their store because people buy it.