Orange Crush, Black Trash, and the Sanitary White Savanahians

Today I logged onto facebook and saw four posts by friends from Savannah concerning the trash left on the Tybee beach after the annual Orange Crush party. I was impressed to see the concern my friends have for the cleanliness of the beach. I don’t have many Savannah friends on FB, and to see four separate posts made me think thee’s probably a much larger trend happening. I guess this could be called “going viral” within the limits of Savannah.
The mess that was left on the beach is disgusting not so much because of the physical trash, but because of the carelessness of the party goers, or at least, by the organizers. It’s not the trash that’s left behind, but the trash that leaves it behind. It’s great that we have a party that draws thousands of people to Tybee. It increases the tax revenue, for sure, and of course, it’s a place where people can go and enjoy themselves. Simply, it’s something to do. But the mess left behind for apparently no one besides volunteers to pick up, is shameful. Who are these people that leave behind their filth. Who are the people who attend Orange Crush? Who can incite such an immediate response from facebookers? Black people.
Oh, the dirty, nasty black people who don’t care about anything but getting drunk and making a big ass mess for someone, anyone else to clean up.
But let’s not be so fast to throw stones in our green, er, glass house.
Let’s be honest. No one is overtly saying “the f-ing black people should be more responsible.” But that’s what they mean. And they’re right. BUT …
Good ol’ St. Patrick is turing over in his grave right now. How can we say anything bad about the trash left behind after Orange Crush when after every St. Patty’s day there is nearly 300 tons of trash left for someone, anyone to pick up? It is the height of hypocrisy.
I’ve been on Riverstreet at closing time when the police come through and make everyone goes home with trash men following immediately behind them. As I followed the crowd up to Bay Street, I crunched on plastic cups, trampled on napkins, dodged vomit, stepped in vomit, and slipped on a massive, mostly eaten turkey leg bone while a rat flipped me the bird for interfering with his dinner. I’ve walked past areas that smelled of urine, seen a woman squatting in a square, laughing as she relieved herself. I’ve seen fights. I’ve seen arrests, I’ve seen bare breasts. I’ve seen beggars with beers, I’ve seen people fall, I’ve seen people searching for missing friends, I’ve seen people searching for hotels they were standing in front of.
But we call “foul” when it’s black people on the beach.
You may say “well at least the trash is taken care of right after the St. Patrick’s.” Sure. But it’s the city workers who are paid by your taxes, and I ask if you personally had anything to do with it.
So, if you want to place blame, don’t place it on the party goers, those “dirty blacks.” Place the blame on the city of Tybee for not arranging trash pick up. Or blame Tybee for not insisting that the organizers of Orange Crush arrange for trash pick up. Sure, the party goers are filthy, but they’re filthy just like every party goer.

It’s to be expected that there will be trash after a party. Let’s think before we spill garbage out of our mouths. Let’s be logical before we’re correctly or incorrectly labeled as being passively racist, as that’s what I’m doing with this blog.
P.S. I read some of the comments under the Youtube video, and not everyone is being so passively racist.

27 Responses to “Orange Crush, Black Trash, and the Sanitary White Savanahians”
  1. Ash says:

    You are so unimformed. OC is not “organized” … it is a word-of-mouth invasion of Tybee. REAL events provide for clean up when they are over.


    • Ash says:

      whoops..typo! lol


    • Ash, thanks for the comment. Fair enough. So the event isn’t organized. It doesn’t matter. Tybee, then, should do something about it. My point is that it’s not a matter of blacks being dirty. It’s a matter of people being dirty. This “word-of-mouth invasion has been happening for years. At least since I was in high school. So it should be no surprise to anyone that it’s going to happen, and therefore, Tybee should require it to be organized. I don’t know how that would be done, but I’m not a city planner, or anything like that. I agree it’s shameful of people to make a mess and not clean it up. But let’s make it a people thing, and not a black thing, because, really, every party leaves an enormous mess.


      • Tybee has attempted to make OC organized and Savannah State College withdrew their sponsorship, a few years back, after 2 individuals were murdered during back to back Orange Crush festivals. So long as it is not organized and only word-of-mouth, there is absolutely nothing The City of Tybee can do to prevent it, and absolutely nobody for The City of Tybee to go to when things like this happen. Statesboro got rid of the Players’ Ball somehow, I wish Tybee could do something similar with Orange Crush!


      • 1991 — Orange Crush is plagued by two dozen arrests, a stabbing, a drowning, the firing of guns and dozens of fights. Approximately 3,000 people attend when only about 300 are expected. Savannah State withdraws its support of the event.

        1993 — Tim Woodard is shot and killed. A man is charged, but the charges are later dismissed. Neither are students at SSU. About 8,000 gather.

        THESE ARE THE THINGS THAT FOLKS FROM TYBEE REMEMBER ABOUT ORANGE CRUSH! Our island is small, 2.67 square miles in all TOTAL. You add 8,000 college aged folks to the beach area alone and there’s going to be trouble! No matter what their heritage, skin color, religion, etc.


  2. Tim says:

    The beached looked like Haiti, after the “event”. Wonder why?


  3. Nobody lives on River Street. People that live ON THE BEACH do so in million dollar homes. St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated world wide, while Orange Crush began as a celebration in honor of Savannah State College’s graduation. OC began as a one afternoon festival of college students and has turned into a two day affair of drug dealers and adolescents drinking under age having absolutely no organization other than twitter, FB and word of mouth. There is no authority in charge as Savannah State College withdrew their sponsorship after 2 individuals were killed during back to back celecbrations. That sponsorship was withdrawn several years ago. There is a huge difference in OC and St. Patrick’s Day. White or Black matter not! How would folks like it if I twittered and FB a bunch of folks, I don’t even know, and invited them to YOUR backyard for a party with illegal drugs, underage drinking, etc.? Then 1000’s of folks showed up, wrecked the place and left? If this happened anywhere else, to anyone else, the police would be called and reports would be made . . . but because the people doing this claim we that live on Tybee don’t like it merely because they are “BLACK” nothing is done! GUESS WHAT . . . . BEING BLACK IS NOT AN EXCUSE ANYMORE THAN IT IS A REASON! SHAME ON THE GUILTY ONES, Black, White, Green, Purple, Blue, Orange,Yellow . . . Shame! Shame! Shame!


    • Michelle, thank you for your comments. My post was in regard to the trash left behind on the beach. Not the crime, the murders, etc. I’m not even saying that Orange Crush is, as a whole, necessarily a good thing. I was commenting solely on the hypocrisy of people who are so astounded that something like that should happen when there’s so much worse happening in Savannah.
      So, Tybee can’t figure out a way to legitimize OC. What’s the big deal? Ultimately, what we’re debating here is just trash. Just garbage that can be picked up. What’s interesting to me, however, is that if the party goers at OC are so bad (murder, underage drinking, etc) why is it that those issues haven’t caused the uproar that garbage in the sand does? Why did this viral topic start over trash? Not saying that these are your sole, or even primary issues, but it’s obviously the majority’s issue.
      Now, I must ask you this. Do you think anyone cares one small, teeny, tiny bit, one iota (sorry, I have to say what I’m thinking here, though it’s rude) *gives a flying fuck* that you and/or the other people who live on the beach do so in million dollar homes? Do you think that people who live in, say, $100,000 dollar homes should expect and accept trash in their “backyards?” Poor you. It’s a shame that you didn’t have enough money to isolate yourself on a private beach where people in the sand would actually be your guests, rather than you wishing they were.

      The fact is that the beach is not your back yard. If it were, you would undoubtedly be “standing your ground” if that law was one state north. The beach is public property. You are the stereotype that us “regular folks” detest. You think because you have money you should be shielded from anything ugly; that ugly is reserved for those less fortunate.

      Your concern is obviously for yourself, not the beach. However, you’re right, 8,000 college aged kids will cause trouble. It’s a mess. A big ugly mess, and I’m not defending it. In fact, it’s deplorable. I just want people to call a spade a spade. Be honest with yourself. It’s not really about trash; it’s about you being uncomfortable with something else, and trash is a good excuse, a great excuse. It’s as if to say “I let the murder slide. I let the underage drinking slide. I let the drugs, and the arrests slide. What do I get in return? Trash in the sand that’ll be picked up by late afternoon! Outrageous!That’s it! I’m putting my foot down!”
      I apologize in advance if I’ve offended you. I do not mean to offend. Only to inform.


    • wdharvey11 says:

      Michelle, I’m not sure where you get your information from, but people DO live on River Street. There are many private homes and condos on River Street. In fact, the entire city of Downtown Savannah is a residential/business district, unlike many other cities that have “business districts” and “residential districts”…And, after reading beatofmyowndrum’s comments, I was at first offended, but as I read on, I realized he was NOT being racist in his comments at all! He as making parody of how people think when it comes down to racism. This is something we learn in writing styles and how to make a point. He was MOCKING the racism that is EASILY going to come about because of this event. The black people are saying it’s the white people that are oppressing them, the white people are saying it’s the blacks that came from the jungle, etc….I’ve seen both sides.

      This is NOT a blame game…it’s a CONDUCT GAME. I was taught as a child that if I didn’t know how to behave when I went out in public I should STAY HOME. These people with the OC SHOULD STAY HOME, based on the exact reasons you have clearly stated in your above comments.

      Tybee is NOT a private back yard. It’s PUBLIC BEACH. PERIOD. If that’s the way YOU keep YOUR back yard, that’s YOUR business. But, no one else needs to clean up your mess out of YOUR back yard. I suggest you start cleaning up your own before you start bring your comments public.


    • Davenport says:

      Hmm I seen a lot of illegal drugs during St. Patty’s day, quite a bit of underage drinking, saw a lot of robbery by the pubs and it (St. Patty’s) has not been confined to Riverstreet in over a decade. Seems to me you should direct your anger at Tybee officials whom allow this to happen every year. Not the people who come that come to the party regardless of skin color. I can see where hands are tied because you simply can’t say,” don’t come to the beach.” That would most likely set race relations on Tybee back a good 10 years. I we definitely wouldn’t want Al Sharpton to get involved and make it a bigger mess.

      But there are things that can be done.
      1. Get the event organized. You live on Tybee so you should have some say into how this yearly event goes down. That’s the main point that needs to be address because if these were white college kids at an unorganized party this big you would have just as big of mess to clean up. I submit as evidence the original unorganized party ‘Woodstock’. And I’ve seen quite a few Spring Breaks get out of hand that would make this weekend at Tybee comaparitively mild.

      2. For every tweet that goes out there should be 3 that direct people to an official OC website. Stating the rules of the party.

      3. Place extra waste bins on the beach.

      4. I don’t know if it’s done already but glass containers should be prohibited from the beach
      area period just on safety issues.

      5. Tybee should start charging a small access fee to the beach everyday; 1. Everyday becaue it doesn’t point out a specific group of people unfairly. 2. About $2.00 a head for non-residents of Tybee should offset the extra manpower required to clean up events this size and some money could be set aside for an environemental trust for the beach. That is to be only used for environmental maintainence of the beach. Not ‘beautification’ projects.

      That’s just for starters. I sure if the residents immediately impacted by the annual OC got together and organized the event it would become as boring as St. Patty’s day and no one would come back again.


      • wdharvey11 says:

        Hmmm…davenport….first of all,not all of us commenting here live on Tybee. Secondly, you are saying exactly what I’m trying to say. Thirdly, those of us who work to do things they are interested in don’t have time to organze that event. Those that work on the St. Patricks day committee have that as a full time job year-round (a small handful) and others have full time jobs OUTSIDE of the committee. Fourth: GLASS is NEVER allowed on the beach, just as it’s not allowed at a swimming pool. FIFTH, and MOST IMPORTANTLY: NO one should EVER be charged to visit our natural resources. NEVER should ANYONE. We have tax payers money that go towards its maintenance as well as staff there to handle day-to-day issues. This is how the lifeguards get paid and how they get their equipment. People would be quick to say NO to a charge to go to the beach. There are parking meters all over the beach as it is, and they are not cheap. There’s your charge to go to the beach.

        AS to your FIRST “rule”…I’m not trying to compare whether it’s white or black. I never mentioned white or black.issues. The original post WAS to get your eyes open to the fact that it IS going to turn out to be a race issue, and not the issue of cleaning up behind yourself, regardless of who you are. So, there are going to be those that will bring race out, white AND black, and we KNOW it. SO, let’s GET THE FUCK OVER the race issue, GET THE THING ORGANIZED, and GET ON WITH OUR LIVES…that is BEFORE this becomes a NATIONAL embarassment to the SOUTH on RACIAL INEQUALITY!


      • wdharvey11 says:

        And STOP trying to blame the “OFFICIALS” of Tybee Island for the RUDE and OBNOXIOUS BEHAVIOR of PEOPLE who do NOT know how to BEHAVE when they LEAVE THEIR OWN HOMES.


  4. BriVin says:

    I simply think if a public event is thrown anywhere there should be a clean up crew appointed. the city of Savannah is who puts on the St. Paddys day event so it is city of Savannah who cleans it up. Who is the organizer for Orange Crush? Why have they not gotten a clean up crew together? If they do not have a clean up crew in plan before the event should not take place. I feel the organizers should be fined for leaving the event place in that way, and should NOT be allowed to do it again unless a proven clean up crew is in effect.


    • BriVin,can I assume your name is Brian? I’ve been told that the event isn’t organized at all, actually. It’s just a bunch of people who go to the beach on a particular date, essentially. This is the problem, it seems. No one is in charge. In my opinion, Tybee should do something about it. And again, I don’t know what can be done, but surely there’s something they can do about it rather than lamenting the aftermath, year after year.


  5. St pat says:

    Lets not forget the meaning of st pats day it was the day celebrating Christianity being brought to ireland oc is just a party so screw the racism and maybe go out to st pat festival during the day and see the sites or go to the beach just to see the beauty of the ocean and have fun without killing my good time by fuking up the landscape


    • I’m not really even sure of what you’re saying, here. You’re right, it’s to celebrate Christianity being brought to Ireland, but it’s celebrated with some of the best debauchery available, so is it really a religious holiday? And if you answer yes to that question, then it’s even worse that Savannah gets trashed by the pious.


  6. lskdf says:

    I was at St. Patties in Savannah this year (I live here), and at no time did I see this kind of trash on the streets. Yes, they do have street cleaning crews that roll through immediately after the parade, but during the entire parade I saw nothing even close to this.


    • It’s not the parade that creates the trash. It’s the party on River Street that creates the trash, and you have to wait until everyone leaves before you can see how much of it there is.


      • wdharvey11 says:

        Forget the St. Patrick’s day festivities. There is no comparison. St. Pats is organized from beginning to end. They have the cooperation of the city, the police department, the fire department, and the hospitals, as well as the hotels and restaurants here in Savannah. For a function like Orange Crush to successfully be compared to St. Patricks day is comparing apples to oranges (no pun intended). Orange Crush is only organized via social networking sights and radio stations. Savannah State PULLED their sponsorship, as well as encouraged students NOT to attend this function. Not only that, but some of the people attending weren’t even in college, much less had graduated high school. This being said, how can a certain event, even though it is an “organized party” be allowed to happen without supervision by either a) sponsorship, saying the place will be clean when it is over, b) cooperation of the city/municipality where the event is being held, c) having their own private people making certain the venue is as clean as it was when they got there in the first place?

        This is coming from someone who works in hospitality. Events held in my location are 500 +++++ sometimes. The events can measure into the hundreds of thousands of dollars for an event for the fewest number of people. But, in these events, there are people coordinated and paid to do the set-up and the cleanup. Orange Crush does NOTHING towards that kind of organization They only advertise a large beach party with DJ’s that get people coming from all over with glass bottles (illegal on the beach) to have cookouts with open flame (illegal on the beach) and leave their garbage behind (also, illegal on the beach).

        Tybee Police Department was “scared” to “police” the event for safety of their own officers. What? Were they intimidated? They are supposed to be officers OF the law…not bystanders, watching the events as they transpired.


      • Thank you for the comments, wdharvey.
        I don’t think it’s so much of a comparison between Orange Crush (OC) and St. Patrick’s Day (SD). It’s the simple answer to this question: Do all party goers leave behind a mess? The answer is yes, of course. Sure, SD is organized from beginning to end, but it’s also been around for, what, 200 years, or something. As far as I know, OC has been around since 1991. This isn’t an excuse by any means. It still shouldn’t have happened. There’s no excuse for it. Never mind the particulars, my ultimate point is that this immense uproar is due to the fact that it was young, black revelers, not white ones. People are saying it should have been more organized, that it should be shut down, etc, etc, etc. And maybe they’re right. Even if it were white kids out there doing the same thing, it would probably be wise to shut it down until it was organized properly, but it simply wouldn’t be an issue if white kids were the ones out there because their white parents wouldn’t be there fueling this uproar with cries of indignation and horror. Sure, there would be talk about it. Some people would be angry, but no one would blow it out of proportion like it is in this case when its black kids/young adults. It’s true, from what I understand, that the party is way out of hand, that it’s practically anarchy down there, and some people’s property is damaged, there’re crimes of all sorts, and so on, all more than Tybee police can handle, obviously. These are the reasons it should be shut down, if it’s shut down. Not because of trash left on the beach. The reason these are the reasons to shut it down if it’s shut down is because one who measures another must measure himself by the same standards, and Savannah would certainly come up short.

        All of your first paragraph is a Tybee government problem. When it comes down to the bottom of it all, it’s their beach, and therefore their responsibility. If their police are too concerned for their own safety to get out there and do something about it, then they should deal with the consequences of their cowardliness quietly.

        If I had to guess, I’d say it’s not that they were “scared,” they are probably just ill equipped to deal with such a large crowd. There probably isn’t enough police to ensure their safety. At other times when there’re that many, or more people on Tybee, it’s not a group that has come there together, and therefore doesn’t have the “flash mob” mentality, which makes those crowds far easier to manage.

        So, it comes down to money. I’d say that Tybee wants it’s cake and to eat it too with the money that visitors bring in, but it doesn’t want to spend it on a bigger police force, (I actually think that’s a good thing because too many police leads to bored police, which leads to police profiling and harassing innocent people.) but I get the feeling that Tybee residents would rather not have anyone come out to “their” beach, and would be happier living in seclusion. Aren’t they the ones who are quick to say “No, we’re not Savannah beach, we’re Tybee.” They want to be separate, and I can’t say that I blame them. Savannah has a lot of good to offer, but I think it’s increasingly overshadowed by the bad.


  7. forsythpark says:

    The flaw of your comparison between StP’s Day and OC is that OC is held on a beach; a natural ecosystem. St.P’s is on a city street with no ill effects on wildlife, etc. A more valid comparison would be maybe Memorial Day, 4th of July, etc. where mostly white folks go to the beach. If it’s comparable then you prove your black/white point. If it’s not then you don’t. (I don’t know if the trash left behind is similar or not.) One last thing to whoever said that Tybee wants the money from the visitors but doesn’t want to pay for clean up and police- I heard day of that restaurants, bars, and businesses on Tybee reported near zero sales during OC weekend.


    • Thanks for the intelligent comment, forsythpark. It’s rare that someone makes clear, balanced comparisons. I think I was the one who said Tybee wants money from visitors but not pay for clean up, etc. That much was an assumption on my part that the island made money off the event in some way. Maybe they don’t. It appears that what you heard is an unverified rumor, as well. But in the same vein of hearsay, I’ve heard that the beach is in pretty poor shape after those events, as well, so it again sounds like party goers are party goers.
      In response to the effects on the ecosystem, I can’t imagine that any of the trash was actually harmful in any measurable amount. It’s bottles, cans, cups and other paper products. While it’s certainly unsightly, it really isn’t harmful. I once read a book called Neither Wolf Nor Dog. It was about a white man who sort of immersed himself in the Native American culture as a writer. At one point he’s talking to an old man, a N.A. (if I may abbreviate) and he asks him why there’s always so much trash on the reservations. It seemed odd to him that, of all people, N.A.s would be the most environmentally sound. So, the old man responds something like this “you say it’s trash, I say it’s just not in use right now. The thing of it is that I can go pick up the trash on the ground in a few minutes. How long will it take you to remove the pavement in front of your buildings? How many trees did you cut down to put up your cities?” You get the idea. His point was valid. The houses and storefronts on the beach do far more harm than any party will ever do.
      If we were talking about a large chemical spill that came as a result of the party, your argument would hold much more weight.
      One question partially in jest but with a degree of truth is did you notice that the seagulls weren’t unhappy about the trash? They were everywhere in the first video. When the beach was cleaned, they were all gone.
      The last thing I’d like to say is that the majority of the trash on St. Patty’s day is on /river Street, which, of course, is adjacent to the Savannah River, which leads to the ocean. Are you saying that none of that trash gets into the river? I bet a ton of it does.


      • wdharvey11 says:

        You are exactly right about the seagulls, and I also like the analogy of the Indian Reservations…Paper will biodegrade…but plastic doesn’t because of its petroleum content, cans (after a while) WILL degrade, but until they do, the become sharp objects, and glass won’t, until broken down to the sand it was made from…between bottle and sand are very sharp edges unsafe to walk on. As for the seagulls, again, I had the pleasure of spending a few days at Tybee a couple of weeks ago. Had a wonderful time. Most of the businesses I went to on Tybrisa said they did not make any money off the event, but some of the local law enforcement I spoke to said it was “mostly peaceful, and it was cleaned up pretty quickly”….it was something that made me go “hmmmm”..was it peaceful because they didn’t enforce laws about glass and fire on the beach, so no one protested?

        Oh..the seagull….as my friend and I were sitting on the beach, he was snacking on an apple. A seagull flew directly into towards his face as he was putting a slice of apple in his mouth and took it right out of his hand. I’d never seen anything like that before….

        Is this a statement of trash? I’m not sure…seagulls are natural wildlife in the area. But, when trash is left in the area, the seagulls become more “domestic” and will come and take whatever it is right out of your hands…leaving trash attracts seagulls. When there are hundreds of people on the beach, do we want seagulls taking our snacks out of our hands just as we are about to put them in our mouths?



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