NAACP Florida travel advisory: State ‘openly hostile to African-Americans’ under Gov. DeSantis’ administration
Another advocacy group is warning people of color against traveling to Florida — but for different reasons.
The NAACP issued a travel advisory to the state “in direct response to Gov. Ron DeSantis’ aggressive attempts to erase black history and curtail diversity, equity and inclusion programs in Florida schools,” the group said in a written statement Saturday.
The announcement came days after LULAC — the League of United Latin American Citizens — issued a travel advisory for Florida after DeSantis signed a new immigration law that takes effect in July.
Both LULAC and the NAACP say actions under the DeSantis administration are “hostile” to their communities.
“Florida is openly hostile to African Americans, people of color and LGBTQ+ individuals,” the NAACP said. “Before you travel to Florida, please understand that the State of Florida devalues and marginalizes the contributions and challenges faced by African Americans and other communities of color.”
Under DeSantis, Florida has banned the teaching of critical race theory — which recognizes systemic racism as part of American history and challenges the beliefs that allowed it to flourish.
The governor said the concept would teach children “the country is rotten and our institutions are illegitimate.” He also passed legislation barring instruction that suggests someone is privileged or oppressed based on their race or skin color.
The DeSantis administration also blocked a preliminary version of a new Advanced Placement course on African-American studies, which the Florida Department of Education said “lacks substantial educational value.”
The NAACP said DeSantis’ actions are “in direct conflict with the democratic ideals upon which our union was founded.”
“Let me be clear—failing to accurately portray the horrors and inequities 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.
CNN has sought comment from DeSantis’ representatives, but has not yet heard back.
After the DeSantis administration nixed the AP African American studies course, the NAACP distributed 10,000 books to 25 predominantly black communities across Florida in partnership with the American Federation of Teachers’ Reading Opens the World program, the NAACP said.
The majority of the donated books were titles banned by the state’s increasingly restrictive laws. The NAACP continues to encourage local chapters and youth councils to start community libraries to ensure access to representative literature.
This is not the first time the NAACP has issued a travel advisory for a state. In 2017, the NAACP warned people of color against traveling to Missouri after the state passed Senate Bill 43 — which makes it harder for employees to prove their protected class, such as race or gender.
While the governor said the new law brings Missouri’s litigation standards in line with other states, the NAACP said it allows illegal discrimination.