NAACP slams Ron DeSantis in rare Florida travel warning
Orlando, Florida - The NAACP issued a rare travel advisory Saturday, warning against travel to Florida and calling the state "openly hostile toward African Americans, people of color, and LGBTQ+ individuals."
The move comes in response to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ attempts to ban books, as well as attacks on African American Studies and diversity, equity, and inclusion programs in Florida colleges.
The advisory was proposed to the Board of Directors in April during the Florida chapter’s conference in Orlando.
"Before traveling to Florida, please understand that the state of Florida devalues and marginalizes the contributions of, and the challenges faced by African Americans and other communities of color," the advisory says.
NAACP President Derrick Johnson insisted that DeSantis has launched "unrelenting attacks on fundamental freedoms."
"Let me be clear – failing to teach an accurate representation of the horrors and inequalities that Black Americans have faced and continue to face is a disservice to students and a dereliction of duty to all," he said in a statement.
NCAAP joins Hispanic civil rights groups in condemning Florida
The NAACP rarely issues travel advisories for US states, with Missouri being the first ever case in 2017.
It has pushed back against DeSantis and state lawmakers, even distributing thousands of banned books related to race to communities of color across the state.
"Once again, hate-inspired state leaders have chosen to put politics over people," chair Leon Russell said in a statement. "Governor Ron DeSantis and the state of Florida have engaged in a blatant war against principles of diversity and inclusion and rejected our shared identities to appeal to a dangerous, extremist minority."
The NAACP isn’t the only civil rights group to declare a travel advisory for Florida.
The League of United Latin American Citizens, one of the oldest Hispanic civil rights groups in the US, issued a warning Wednesday advising immigrants to avoid traveling to Florida because of DeSantis’ recent crackdown on immigration
Earlier this month, DeSantis signed a bill that limits undocumented migrant labor, ends community-funded programs that give undocumented immigrants ID cards and toughens penalties against those who transport undocumented immigrants into the state.
Cover photo: Collage: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI / AFP & REUTERS