Chris Delamo Survived a Week on the Streets of Miami, but All He Got Was This Kinda-Racist Documentary

Categories: Reality Bites

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Chris Delamo
Last month, 25-year-old college dropout Chris Delamo set off on a grand trek through our concrete jungle. The political provocateur planned to spend a week without shelter in order to film a documentary about homelessness in Miami. "It's going to be like Urban Survivor Man," he told Riptide. We gave him long odds on living to tell his tale.

Well, it appears as if Delamo survived this city's mean streets after all. He's put together a trailer about his seven-day sojourn among the homeless. There's only one problem: It looks a bit, um, racist.

Take a look for yourself.

See also:
- Miami "Voluntaryist" Chris Delamo Pretends to Be Homeless for a Week to Film Documentary

Delamo's trailer begins with him walking through what looks like Little Havana. He wastes no time in calling it a hellhole.

"Stranded in some random ghetto place, trying to find your way downtown, walking for hours and hours and hours, it really makes you appreciate how vast the city really can be," he says.

But the video goes the full Victoria Jackson when Delamo makes his way downtown.

"Apparently downtown is a hub for drug dealers and hostile homeless people," Delamo says in a voiceover as footage of dark-skinned people flashes across the screen. "Now I always knew this, but I didn't think it was as concentrated and prevalent as it turned out to be. At one point, I walked through a whole crowd of drug dealers and homeless people without even knowing it.

"I literally walked right through them!" he then says into the camera while laughing. "It was such a big crowd I didn't think it could be homeless people and potential hoodlums and delinquents."

That's because they aren't all "hoodlums and delinquents," Chris. Are there drug dealers downtown? Probably a few. But not everyone hanging out in Government Center is slinging crack.

Yet Delamo just keeps on tearing through the racial clichés like Tom Wolfe without the writing talent.

"I'm getting a little bit anxious, to be honest with you," he says. "As dusk settles and the city begins to quiet down a little bit, it's kind of strange. A lot of the homeless people I'd seen earlier -- maybe they might be drug dealers too, I'm not entirely sure what they are -- they are starting to come out now. It's almost as if they are waiting for nightfall."

To his credit, Delamo does interview a black person whom he does not immediately label a drug dealer. But the documentary is more revealing of its director's prejudices than any deeper truths about homelessness in Miami.

(Also, we here at Riptide have our doubts about whether Delamo actually slept on the streets as he promised. There's an awkward cut between midnight and morning scenes, but maybe he's saving that for the feature-length version.)

At one point, Delamo himself hints at the vanity and self-absorption of his idea to slum on the streets of Miami for seven days.

"I started to wonder if my hopes of finding a sense of freedom while being homeless were just naive assumptions based on a lack of experience," he says.

Wonder no more, Chris. Your video is all the answer we need.

Follow Miami New Times on Facebook and Twitter @MiamiNewTimes. Follow this journalist on Twitter @MikeMillerMiami.



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9 comments
Jean
Jean

CHRIS DELAMO = RACIST AND SEXIST. WTF? 

Jean
Jean

Chris Delamo supports and explicitly ENDORSES violence against women and street harassment. Please do NOT SUPPORT HIM. 

chris-the-writer
chris-the-writer

lol, "he's a racist".  "He DOES have a heartfelt interview with an African-American male who worked his way out of poverty, and the filmmaker DOES portray him in a positive, amazing light. But...he's a racist."  lol, wonderful smear article, terrible journalism at its finest...

DonLouis
DonLouis

This guy is a loser with a video camera. I've walked in most of the places I saw..and the streets are not filled with homeless and drug dealers.

Not saying you can't see any of those two groups, but not large groups of them loitering around the courthouse. F@%^ing idiot! 

I am all about people doing documentaries, but where did this go grow up? Aventura? Did he get his ass beat on any of his "run ins" with those angry drug dealers?  

ivixl
ivixl

This guy is a retard. I live and work in Downtown Miami. Yes, there are homeless but no, not all those people you see hanging out by the Government Center are homeless or drug dealers. Yes, homeless people ask for money and sometimes are drunk, belligerent and talk to themselves. I even saw a homeless man have an imaginary fight with himself and lose LOL. However, they don't really mess with you if you don't pay them any mind. The majority of homeless are not crack dealers. They are people with mental disabilities, people with addictions or people that have lost everything with no family to help. I've many a time bought them $1 pizzas from 7-11 and lots of them are gentlemen, opening doors and quite polite. I've seen more nice homeless people than rude and abusive. I have yet to have an altercation with a homeless person in the streets of Downtown. I stay away from the ones that talk to themselves for my own protection and I carry pepper spray just in case but have never had to use it. Homelessness knows no race, it affects people of all walks of life. Proceed with caution but don’t label these people or think you know what/who they are by spending a couple of nights in Downtown. Downtown has really improved. I walk the streets at night alone or with my husband and have yet to encounter a problem. There are more condos, restaurants, security and lights. This guy really makes it seem so much worse. Little Havana is the ghetto LOL Obviously, this guy has never seen an actual ghetto or project. Go back to Pinecrest or Boca please and stroke your fluffy cat. 

pkeller1
pkeller1

This guy is kind of an idiot and I hope his fluffy-ass cat left him a gift on his duvet.

This_Just_In
This_Just_In

25 year old delinquent, drop-out mamma's boy surveys the downtown areas of Miami where large portions of the city work and live - supports his conclusion that anywhere but daddy's house is uninhabitable and filled with aggressive drug-dealing homeless

psyboy
psyboy

I wanted to concur with the writer of this story that nobody was going to "diss" our city - but then I watched the video clip. Hmmm.  I work right downtown where we see Chris encounter some of the city's homeless.  And maybe it's New Times, after all, that needs to take a breath of fresh air and enter reality - there are dozens - yes dozens of homeless people peppered throughout the city and many of them (at times it seems as if they number well over a hundred) are downtown and many are African American men who at more times than not can seem drunk, sullen, angry, shout at you, demand not ask for money and in general are unfortunately right out of central casting for stereotypes - but it is what it is.  We also have a lot of homeless white male junkies and there are more than there fair share of Hispanic homeless too - and even some women.  But racist?  That's a rant - Chris is telling it like it is.

Anthonyvop1
Anthonyvop1 topcommenter

So it is OK to slam a documentary as untrue just because it doesn't jib with your beliefs?  Interesting and quite hypocritical.

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