The Board of Directors of the NAACP has issued a travel advisory for Florida, accusing the state, and specifically Gov. Ron DeSantis, of being “openly hostile to African Americans, people of color and LGBTQ+ people.”
“Before you travel to Florida, please understand that the state of Florida devalues and marginalizes the contributions of African Americans and other communities of color and the challenges they face,” he said Notice issued on Saturday Conditions.
The civil rights organization specifically accused DeSantis, a possible Republican presidential nominee for 2024, of aggressively trying to erase black history and “restricting diversity, equity and inclusion programs in Florida schools.”
Under DeSantis’ leadership, the state has imposed restrictions on how racism and other aspects of history can be legally taught in schools and workplaces. His Stop WOKE Act, which came into effect in 2022, is currently being challenged in court.
DeSantis also passed legislation expanding the state’s ability to restrict books in public schools, leading to the removal of books on race and LGBTQ+ identities.
“Let me be clear: Failure to provide an accurate account 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,” NAACP President said and CEO Derrick Johnson in a statement. “Under the leadership of Governor Desantis, the state of Florida has become hostile to Black Americans and is in direct conflict with the democratic ideals on which our union was founded.”
Regarding LGBTQ+ rights, DeSantis also recently banned gender-specific childcare, use of a gender-consistent restroom and drag queen performances in public places, leading to the cancellation of local Pride events.
Equality Florida, an LGBTQ+ civil rights group, has issued a similar travel warning for the entire state last month due to the actions of DeSantis.
“We understand that everyone must weigh the risks and decide what’s best for their safety, but whether you stay away, go or stay, we ask that you join us in combating these relentless attacks,” said Nadine Smith , executive director of Equality Florida. “Help reinvent and build a Florida that is truly safe and open to all, and where freedom is a reality, not an empty campaign slogan.”