NAACP warns against traveling to Florida; says the state is ‘openly hostile’

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People on Saturday issued an advisory aimed at anyone thinking of traveling to Florida, claiming that the state has become “openly hostile toward African Americans, people of color and L.G.B.T.Q.+ individuals,” according to The New York Times.

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The advisory was issued “in direct response to Governor Ron DeSantis’ aggressive attempts to erase Black history and to restrict diversity, equity, and inclusion programs in Florida schools,” the group said in a written statement Saturday.

The advisory did not explicitly recommend against travel to Florida.

“Florida is openly hostile toward African Americans, people of color and LGBTQ+ individuals,” the statement continued. “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 March, the organization gave out 10,000 books to predominantly black communities in response to legislation limiting African-American studies in school, WFTV reported.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis last week signed legislation defunding diversity programs at the state’s public universities and colleges. Part of the legislation read, “Florida’s institutions encourage diversity of thought, civil discourse and the pursuit of truth for generations to come.”

In a statement from Derrick Johnson, the NAACP’s president and chief executive, said under DeSantis Florida had “become hostile to Black Americans and in direct conflict with the democratic ideals that our union was founded upon.”

“Let me be clear,” Johnson said, “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.”

The DeSantis administration sent WFTV a statement on read: “As the governor noted previously, this type of thing is a political stunt. We aren’t going to waste time worrying about political stunts but will continue doing what is right for Floridians.”

Equality Florida issued a travel advisory last month citing the state legislature’s passage of a bill that prohibits classroom instruction and discussion about sexual orientation and in some elementary school grades.

The League of United Latin American Citizens also warned against going to the state.

The League of United Latin American Citizens issued the advisory that “strongly denounces the anti-immigrant measures signed into law by Governor Ron DeSantis in Florida.

“LULAC exposes the extensive impact of Governor DeSantis’ sweeping anti-immigrant, anti-Christian family rampage, harming the Florida economy and further marginalizing immigrant communities.”