The NAACP is the latest organization to warn Black people and members of marginalized communities against traveling to Florida amid the relentless right-wing bills signed into law by Gov. Ron DeSantis. The travel advisory, issued on Saturday, condemned Florida as “openly hostile towards African Americans, people of color, and LGBTQ+” people and urged people to fight the state’s attack on democratic institutions.
“Under its current Governor, the State of Florida has engaged in an all-out attack on Black Americans, accurate Black history, voting rights, members of the LGBTQ+community, immigrants, women’s reproductive rights, and free speech, while simultaneously embracing a culture of fear, bullying, and intimidation by public officials,” the NAACP said in a statement.
“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 announcement is a direct response to DeSantis’ war on so-called “anti-woke ideology,” which has seen the governor attacking diversity and equity efforts at seemingly every opportunity, including most recently, DEI initiatives at Florida’s state colleges and universities. In issuing its formal travel advisory, the NAACP joined other advocacy groups, including Equality Florida and The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), to warn against visiting the state.
In the past month alone, DeSantis, who’s expected to officially announce his presidential run this week, has signed off on a flurry of bills attacking everything from abortion rights to health care for trans people. As I’ve previously reported, DeSantis has made it no secret that he plans to make Florida his blueprint for America if he secures the presidency. Should he succeed, perhaps we’ll see more countries issuing travel advisories against the United States, as they did under Donald Trump and the scourge of mass shootings that continue to take place in the US.