NAACP Issues Travel Advisory to Florida, Says State 'Is Openly Hostile Toward' Black People and Others

Welcome to Florida sign along U.S. Route 319 at the Florida/Georgia state line.
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The NAACP's travel advisory comes after the League of United Latin American Citizens and LGBTQ advocacy group Equality Florida previously issued travel advisories.

The NAACP has issued a travel advisory for Florida in the wake of actions taken by the government there and Gov. Ron DeSantis' "aggressive attempts to erase Black history and to restrict diversity, equity, and inclusion programs in Florida schools."

The NAACP issued its formal advisory Saturday on their website. "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," the NAACP said. 

The NAACP is the latest civil rights organization to caution travelers against visiting the Sunshine State. In recent weeks, the League of United Latin American Citizens and LGBTQ advocacy group Equality Florida also issued travel advisories to Florida, CBS News reported.

NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson slammed DeSantis in the formal advisory, saying, “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."

DeSantis is expected to announce his run for president soon. He is expected to run against former President Donald Trump for the Republican nomination.

Johnson added in his statement that DeSantis “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."

In January, Florida rejected a class on African American studies in the state’s public schools. The class was deemed “inexplicably contrary to Florida law and significantly lacks educational value” by the Florida Department of Education, according to ABC News.

The rejection of African American studies in public schools came under Gov. Ron DeSantis’ “Stop WOKE” Act, which was aimed to restrict race-related content in workplaces, schools and colleges, and specifically prohibits teaching critical race theory in schools.

"Once again, hate-inspired state leaders have chosen to put politics over people," In the NAACP's advisory statement, Chair of the NAACP Board of Directors Leon Russell said. "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."

Around 137.6 million people visited Florida in 2022, according to tourism agency Visit Florida.

Visitors contributed $101.9 billion to the state's economy and supported more than 1.7 million jobs in 2021, CBS News reported.

DeSantis did not respond to Inside Edition Digital's request for comment. 

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