By Stacy M. Brown
NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent
The NAACP Board of Directors has issued a formal travel advisory for the state of Florida.
According to a news release from the nation’s oldest civil rights organization, the travel advisory comes in direct response to Gov. Ron DeSantis’ “aggressive attempts to erase Black history and to restrict diversity, equity, and inclusion programs in Florida schools.”
The formal travel notice states, “Florida is openly hostile toward African-Americans, people of color and LGBTQ+ individuals.
“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 said he wanted the message to resonate.
“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,” Johnson stated.
“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 continued.
“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.”
According to the release, the travel advisory was initially proposed to the Board of Directors by NAACP’s Florida State Conference.
NAACP’s collective consideration of the advisory is a result from unrelenting attacks on fundamental freedoms from the Governor and his legislative body, the organization asserted.
Following DeSantis’ ordering the state to reject students’ access to AP African-American studies course in March, the NAACP distributed 10,000 books to 25 predominantly Black communities across the state in collaboration with the American Federation of Teachers’ Reading Opens the World program.
Most of the books donated were titles banned under the state’s increasingly restrictive laws.
The NAACP vowed to continue to encourage local branches and youth councils to start community libraries to ensure access to representative literature.
The organization said in the release that it has encouraged all Florida residents to join the effort to defeat the “regressive policies of this Governor and this state legislature.”
For additional information and updates visit www.naacp.org.