So here at the Jersey Shore there is a saying that happens starting around Memorial Day Weekend which lasts throughout the summer: Benny Go Home. You’ll see this on bumper stickers and t-shirts and various store signs. In case you are not from the area and are not sure what these means I’ll break it down for you.
A “Benny” is someone from a twon north of the shore who come down on the weekends or a weekly rental to take advantage of the beach towns along the shore. The term Benny is an acronym for Bayonne, Elizabeth, Newark & New York. These are larger cities/towns so it would makes sense that more people would come from these areas.
The problem that the locals have is that these “Bennys” usually tend to be quite distruptive to the quality of life we live the other 9 months out fo the year. Traffic increases, parking becomes more difficult, noise levels go up, drunkeness definitely increases.
Now this isn’t to say that everyone who visits the shore is an obnoxious ass but there are enough of them that this rallying cry has taken hold for as long as I can remember. I’m sure it’s the same situation anywhere where tourists gather en masse.
But today I started thinking about how this cry of “Benny Go Home” is just a local level of larger bias. When someone screams at someone who is Asian or Muslim to “go back where you came from” isn’t it the same thing?
Perhaps we can learn to be a bit more tolerant. Or can we only be tolerant when it doesn’t impact us? I work in a shore town and have taken to being extra nice to the tourists visiting even when they ask stupid questions. I figure if I’m going to preach tolerance and being nice and spreading kindness I should probably lead by example.