If you were one of the 50.6 million passengers that flew into Orlando International Airport in 2019, you probably heard Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer say “If you’re a resident of Central Florida, I’d like to welcome you home.” while on the people mover on the way to the main terminal building.
Sure it’s cheesy, but even locals get the warm fuzzies when we’re arriving home and hear that familiar voice on the intercom. The “City of Orlando” includes the Orlando International Airport and the Universal Orlando Resort. Google it if you don’t believe me.
The Mayor of Orlando and the Chief of Police had quite a different tone in this press conference than the one you’d hear if you’re arriving in the city at the airport. While they’re playing down the current protests, notice the mention of the use of tear gas against protesters. This happening just miles from Universal Studios which was having its first Passholder Preview day after being closed for months.
Orlando is not immune from the protests stemming from the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and many other instances of inappropriate uses of force against people of color by police forces around the United States. While Orlando is no stranger to protests, with the Travon Martin incident in out not too recent memory, the protests in the city have been mostly been peaceful.
The City Beautiful still has needed to put a curfew into place for the downtown area from 8PM tonight. Many business are closing early, with Orlando Walmarts closing at 5PM for the last several days.
I want people to be able to come to Orlando and enjoy all the city has to offer. At the same time, I want them to understand that we’re not unlike any other city in the United States. We’re trying to figure out what’s going on. With a recent history of Travon Martin and the Pulse shooting, we might be able to deal with these issues better than most, but it doesn’t mean that we’re not suffering like everyone else.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary