The NAACP issued a “travel advisory” for the state of Florida over the weekend, saying that Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’ policies constitute an “all-out attack on Black Americans” and other minorities.
“Please be advised that Florida is openly hostile toward African-Americans, people of color and LGBTQ+ individuals,” the formal notice states.
“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 minorities,” the group stated.
The notice accused Mr. DeSantis of criminalizing protests, restricting lessons on Black history and opposing diversity and inclusion initiatives.
“Once again, 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,” Leon Russell, the chair of the NAACP Board of Directors, said in a statement adjoining the advisory.
The Florida governor signed a new law last week that bans public colleges and universities from spending money on diversity, equity and inclusion programs.
Florida’s Department of Education threatened to ban revisions to an Advanced Placement course on African American Studies earlier this year because of what Education Commissioner Manny Diaz Jr. called “woke indoctrination masquerading as education.”
In 2021, Mr. DeSantis signed a law that creates harsher penalties for crimes committed during riots or violent protests, and also made it a felony to destroy symbols that commemorate historical events or people. The law still hasn’t taken effect due to ongoing legal challenges.
“If you are a resident of Florida, we ask you to join us in our advocacy efforts to defeat the regressive policies of this Governor and this state legislature,” the advisory reads. “Our greatest asset is the voice of the millions who speak up every day to protect our democracy and our civil rights.”
The NAACP said its advisory will remain in effect until further notice.
— This article is based in part on wire service reports.
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