This past weekend, the NAACP issued a Florida travel advisory. the NAACP Board of Directors made the announcement, arguing that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) is aggressively attempting to erase Black history as well as restrict diversity, equity, and inclusion programs in Florida schools.
The NAACP's Florida State Conference proposed the travel advisory to the Board of Directors. Subsequently, in the travel notice, the NAACP charges that "Florida is openly hostile toward African Americans, people of color and LGBTQ+ individuals." It notes that "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 a statement, Derrick Johnson, the NAACP President & CEO, commented that "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."
"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," Johnson added, affirming that the NAACP is "not backing down, and we encourage our allies to join us in the battle for the soul of our nation."
Leon Russell, the Chair of the NAACP Board of Directors, similarly criticized Florida's leadership, commenting that "hate-inspired state leaders have chosen to put politics over people." "Governor Ron DeSantis and the state of Florida have engaged in a blatant war against principles of diversity and inclusion and rejected our shared identities to appeal to a dangerous, extremist minority," Russell expressed, assuring that the NAACP "will not allow our rights and history to be held hostage for political grandstanding."
Chiding the "malicious attacks in Florida against Black Americans," Russell called on Americans "to join in this fight to protect ourselves and our democracy."