The NAACP issued a travel advisory warning black Americans not to travel to the state of Florida, even though its chairman lives in Tampa Bay.

Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Fl.)

On Saturday, the NAACP released a formal travel notice warning black Americans not to travel to Florida because of “Governor Ron DeSantis’ aggressive attempts to erase Black history and to restrict diversity, equity, and inclusion programs in Florida schools.”

“Florida is openly hostile toward African Americans, people of color, and LGBTQ+ individuals,” said the advisory. “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.”

NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson also gave a statement on this new boycott of 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,” said Johnson. “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. 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.”

The Chair of the NAACP Board of Directors, Leon Russell, also spoke out in support of the boycott, despite the fact that he actually lives in the state of Florida.

Leon Russell, Chair of the NAACP Board of Directors

Russell, who currently resides in Tampa Bay, said, “Once again, hate-inspired 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.”

“We will not allow our rights and history to be held hostage for political grandstanding,” added Russell. “The NAACP proudly fights against the malicious attacks in Florida, against Black Americans.”

DeSantis has been an outspoken critic of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) programs and CRT education in schools. He recently signed legislation that bans all state funding for DEI programs in the state’s universities.

After the advisory was issued by the NAACP, DeSantis’ office simply pointed out that the state’s tourism numbers are very strong and said that the travel advisory is “nothing more than a stunt.”

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