On Saturday the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) issued a travel advisory warning Black Americans and other people of color against travelling to Florida.
“Florida is openly hostile toward African Americans, people of color and LGBTQ+ individuals,” the travel advisory states.
“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 travel advisory reads,” it says.
The civil rights advocacy group cites recent legislative action taken by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis as the reason behind their warning.
The travel advisory states that Gov. DeSantis has signed numerous “anti-civil rights measures” into law, including the Combating Violence, Disorder and Looting and Law Enforcement Protection Act, Stop Wrongs against Our Kids and Employees Act (“Stop W.O.K.E. Act”), and the Constitutional Carry Act.
According to the NAACP, DeSantis has “criminalized protests, restricted the ability of educators to teach African-American history, and engaged in a blatant war against diversity and inclusion,” showing that African Americans are not welcome in Florida.
The NAACP’s travel advisory is the latest in a series of actions by the organization in response to DeSantis’ policies.
In March, as part of the “Stop W.O.K.E. Act,” DeSantis prohibited the College Board’s Advanced Placement African American Studies (APAAS) course from being taught in Florida schools.
In response, the NAACP along with the American Federation of Teacher’s Reading Opens the World program donated 10,000 “banned books” to 25 predominantly Black communities across the state.
“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,” said NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson.
“Under the leadership of Governor DeSantis, the state of Florida has become hostile to Black Americans in direct conflict with the democratic ideals that our union was founded upon,” Johnson said.
The formal notice tells travelers to Florida to be advised that Florida public schools “will not teach your children accurate African-American history,” that the state does not value “diversity, equity, and inclusion,” and that it does not “welcome the contributions” of African Americans and people of color.
The notice also urges Florida residents to join the NAACP and advocate for legislation that supports “diversity in all aspects of education.”
“Once again, hate-inspired state leaders have chosen to put politics over people,” said Chair of the NAACP Board of Directors Leon Russell.
“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,” Russell said.
Read the full NAACP travel advisory for the State of Florida below: