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Black Americans Warned of ‘Open Hostility’ in Florida


Black Americans were issued an advisory warning for travel to Florida on Saturday by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). 

The advisory, released Saturday, “comes in direct response to Governor Ron DeSantis’ [R-FL] aggressive attempts to erase Black history and to restrict diversity, equity, and inclusion programs in Florida schools.” The group warns any black travelers to the Sunshine State to be wary of the “open hostility” directed at people of color.

In the letter, the group said that DeSantis has signed several “anti-civil rights” measures into law. The Florida governor signed the Stop W.O.K.E Act which prohibits teachers from instructing on critical race theory in K-12 schools. It would also prohibit universities and schoolteachers from hiring critical race theory instructors. DeSantis also banned an Advanced Placement African American Studies course to be taught in public schools. The governor said he was not opposed to schools teaching black history, but he does not want schools to push an ideology or impose “some rote talking points” on “political skirmishes of the day.”

“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 & CEO Derrick Johnson. He continued:

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.

The Associated Press

NAACP President & CEO Derrick Johnson speaks at a community meeting, Monday, October 24, 2022, in Jackson, Mississippi. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

NAACP also pointed to the Constitutional Carry Law which allows people to carry a concealed firearm without a permit. The law will go into effect July 1. Community Justice Action Fund Executive Director Greg Jackson said this law “disproportionately endangers vulnerable Black and Brown communities.

The NAACP’s travel advisory follows an advisory issued by the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) due to a new immigration law signed.

The idea of a travel advisory to the state was first floated around in March when state NAACP leadership first suggested it. DeSantis said it was a joke.

“This is a stunt to try to do that. It’s a pure stunt and fine, if you want to waste your time on a stunt, that’s fine,” DeSantis said. “But I’m not wasting my time on your stunts.”

News of the travel advisory has led to many people taking DeSantis’s back, including black comedian twins Keith and Kevin Hodge.

For the first time in June 2017, the NAACP issued a travel advisory to Missouri tied to a bill which makes it more difficult for an employee to prove their protected class led to their discrimination.

Tourism is vital to the state’s economy — contributing $101.9 billion in 2021, according to the state’s tourism agency.





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