2020 has produced a lot of arguments about what is and isn’t a good justification for gathering in large groups when it’s potentially dangerous to do so. Is it necessary in order to fight injustice? Or to make a statement about our freedoms? Or, and this is the big one, does it simply have to be done in the name of a weirdly chaotic car-company-themed beach party ?
According to some people: absolutely yes.
The Jeep Go Topless weekend is basically a big crazy party in Crystal Beach, Texas. A local website event listing describes it like this:
What started as a small unorganized event where Jeep Lovers came to Bolivar Peninsula in Crystal Beach, Texas has grown to an overwhelming gathering of Jeep Lovers, UTV’s and 4-wheelers. Homes are rented well in advance along with RV parks.
This should not be confused with Go Topless Day, an event meant to fight for the freedom of women to go topless in public if they desire. This one is more about…cars?
Now you might think that in the Spring of 2020, a time when just about everything is getting cancelled, the community might forgo this event. But, it happened to come at a time when the beach was legally opened again, so, undettered, the party people flooded in.
“What’s better than beach and a few drinks and Jeeps?” Said one woman interviewed at the event by local ABC/NBC affiliate KBMT, “Man, ain’t gettin’ better than that!”
As you may be shocked to learn, this didn’t go great. 12 News reports that at least 140 people have been arrested in connection to the event, including an incident in which 2 people were shot after some sort of fight broke out.
To be clear, no one was arrested for simply being there. Extra law enforcement was sent to patrol the event, but not with the intent of shutting it down. “It’s not possible to [enforce social distancing] on this beach with the amount of people that we have here,” said once officer, “It’s just…we can’t do that.”
“You have a good time, there’s no issue.” He says, “But when you start actin’ silly, like the Sheriff said on the previous interview, we’ve got a jail that’s got a whole lotta empty holes.”
The truly crazy part of this story is that the this is not the first time this event has been a catastrophe. 2019’s edition led to about 80 arrests and 6 hospitalizations.
But if the viral video of the news coverage is any indication, none of this dissuaded the thousands of gatherers much. As one young lady put it in the best quote of the video: “The cops are doin’ their job, as long as they don’t be mean to people who are actually bein’ innocent, then I’m all gravy, baby.”
All gravy baby, indeed.
Not even SNL could not write something as ridiculous as this actual, real news report from my local station pic.twitter.com/VVTziwuyOd
— rendon in gemini ♊️✨ (@maria_rendon97) May 18, 2020
The video of the news coverage has taken off in multiple places, including this tweet, which has been retweeted nearly 40 thousand times at the time of writing. “Not even SNL could write something as ridiculous as this actual, real news report” says user @maria_rendom97. Agreed, Maria. Agreed.
Would you ever go to this event?
Give us your opinion in the comments.