NAACP Issues Travel Advisory Urging Black Americans to Avoid Visiting Florida
In a recent statement, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) has issued a travel advisory, urging Black Americans to refrain from visiting the state of Florida. The advisory points to Governor Ron DeSantis' alleged continuous assault on democracy and civil rights as the primary reason for their concern.
The NAACP's travel advisory follows similar actions taken by other organizations, including the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) and Equality Florida, an LGBTQ advocacy group. These organizations have also imposed travel bans against Florida in response to perceived discriminatory policies and actions.
According to NAACP President & CEO Derrick Johnson, under Governor DeSantis' leadership, Florida has been engaged in what the organization describes as an all-out attack on various marginalized communities. The statement highlights concerns over the treatment of Black Americans, accurate Black history, voting rights, LGBTQ+ individuals, immigrants, women's reproductive rights, and free speech. Johnson accuses the state of promoting a culture of fear, bullying, and intimidation by public officials.
The NAACP specifically references several pieces of legislation, including the Combatting Violence, Disorder, and Looting and Law Enforcement Protection Act (Florida HB 1), Stop Wrongs against Our Kids and Employees Act (Florida HB 7), Constitutional Carry Act (Florida House HB 543), Florida Senate Bill 266, and Florida Senate Bill 7066. These bills have been criticized for their potential impact on civil liberties and marginalized communities.
In response to the travel advisory, Governor DeSantis' press secretary dismissed it as a mere stunt, highlighting that Florida continues to experience record-breaking tourism.
LULAC, which issued its advisory on May 17, expressed concerns over anti-immigrant measures signed into law by Governor DeSantis. The organization's president, Domingo Garcia, stated that these policies have had an extensive impact, negatively affecting the Florida economy and further marginalizing immigrant communities. One specific bill mentioned is Bill 1718, which is set to take effect on July 1, 2023.
Equality Florida issued its advisory after Governor DeSantis signed the "Don't Say Gay" bill into law. The organization's statement emphasizes the negative impact of Governor DeSantis' policies on LGBTQ+ individuals, describing them as causing a state of emergency for the community. Equality Florida accuses the governor of weaponizing his position to institutionalize bigotry, hate, and discrimination for his own political gain.
As these travel advisories gain attention, it remains to be seen how they will impact travel patterns and tourism in the state of Florida.