NAACP issues travel advisory in state under DeSantis’ leadership
The NAACP Board of Directors issued a travel advisory in Florida on Saturday in response to actions by Gov. Ron DeSantis.
"Florida is openly hostile toward African Americans, people of color and LGBTQ+ individuals," the advisory reads. "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."
In a news release, the NAACP noted DeSantis' "aggressive attempts to erase Black history and to restrict diversity, equity and inclusion programs in Florida schools."
NAACP President & CEO Derrick Johnson said: "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.
"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."
In March, the Florida NAACP made a push for this advisory.
At the time, DeSantis responded: "What a joke – what a joke. Yeah, we'll see how effective that is."
On Monday, DeSantis signed a bill that will eliminate state or federal spending on diversity, equity and inclusion programs at publicly-funded colleges in Florida.
In March, the NAACP distributed 10,000 books to 25 predominantly Black communities across the state in collaboration with the American Federation of Teachers' Reading Opens the World program. The majority of the books donated were titles banned under the state's laws.
"The NAACP continues to encourage local branches and youth councils to start community libraries to ensure access to representative literature," the organization said in a news release.
In April, Equality Florida issued a travel advisory, warning of the "risks posed to the health, safety and freedom" of those considering traveling or moving to the Sunshine State.
A spokesman for DeSantis provided a brief statement when asked about the travel ban by Equality Florida.
"As the governor noted previously, this type of thing is a political stunt," Bryan Griffin said in an email to WPTV. "We aren't going to waste time worrying about political stunts but will continue doing what is right for Floridians."
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