The NAACP is advising against traveling to Florida as the state has become “hostile to Black Americans.”
On Saturday (May 20), the civil rights group released a travel advisory in response to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ latest attacks on Black history, education, and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), per CBS News.
“Florida is openly hostile toward African Americans, people of color, and LGBTQ+ individuals. 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 reads in part.
Last week, DeSantis signed legislation to defund DEI departments at state universities. “DEI is better viewed as standing for discrimination, exclusion, and indoctrination,” DeSantis remarked.
“Once again, hate-inspired state leaders have chosen to put politics over people,” Leon Russell, chair of the NAACP board of directors, said in a statement on Saturday. “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 advisory also comes after the DeSantis administration blocked an Advanced Placement African American studies course from being implemented in Florida high schools. The governor has been pushing the Stop Woke Act, which prohibits workplaces and schools from making people “feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress on account of his or her race, color, sex, or national origin.”
“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,” NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson said in a statement. “Under the leadership of Governor DeSantis, the state of Florida has become hostile to Black Americans and in direct conflict with the democratic ideals that our union was founded upon. He should know that democracy will prevail because its defenders are prepared to stand up and fight. We’re not backing down, and we encourage our allies to join us in the battle for the soul of our nation.”
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