May 21 (UPI) — The NAACP has issued a travel advisory for Florida in response to policies by Gov. Ron DeSantis that the civil rights organization said “attempts to erase Black history.”
“Florida is openly hostile toward African Americans, people of color and LGBTQ+ individuals,” the notice reads.
“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.”
The NAACP, founded in 1909 to fight for civil rights for Black Americans, noted that the organization particularly took umbrage with Florida rejecting student access to AP classes for African American studies in March.
At the time, the organization responded by sending 10,000 books — largely from banned book lists in the state — to Black communities across Florida.
“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,” Derrick Johnson, the president and CEO of the NAACP, said in a statement.
“Under the leadership of Gov. 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.”
DeSantis previously criticized the travel ban when the local chapter in Florida proposed that the NAACP board take up the issue in March, the New York Post reported.
“Yeah, we’ll see, we’ll see how effective that is,” DeSantis said at the time. “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. But I’m not wasting my time on your stunts.”
DeSantis aide Christina Pushaw mocked the travel advisory on Twitter on Sunday, stating: “Does this mean no Urban Beach Week?”