The NAACP issues a travel warning for Florida, accusing it of a “broad attack” on freedom of expression and marginalized groups

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – A leading civil rights group, the NAACP, issued a travel warning for Florida on Saturday, claiming the state was conducting “an all-out assault on black Americans” and other groups including women, immigrants and LGBTQ people.

The organization said the move was a “direct response to Gov. Ron DeSantis’ aggressive attempts to erase black history and restrict diversity, equity and inclusion programs in Florida schools.”

The NAACP board approved the Florida chapter’s travel advisory motion, which voted unanimously in March.

The report cites several bills signed into law by Florida’s governor, including the Stop WOKE Act, the Constitutional Carry Act, the six-week abortion ban and bills restricting access to gender-sensitive health care.

“Please note that Florida is openly hostile to African Americans, people of color and LGBTQ+ people,” the statement said. “Before you travel to Florida, please remember that the state of Florida devalues ​​and marginalizes the contributions and challenges faced by African Americans and other minorities.”

The NAACP board also objected to the Florida Department of Education rejecting a pilot program for an AP course in African American Studies in January. A letter from state education officials said the course material “inexplicably violates Florida law and is severely lacking in educational value.”

“Let me be clear: Failure to provide an accurate account 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,” NAACP President said and CEO Derrick Johnson said in a statement. “Under the leadership of Governor DeSantis, the state of Florida has become hostile to Black Americans and is in direct conflict with the democratic ideals on which our union was founded. He should know that democracy will triumph because its defenders are ready to stand up and fight. We stand firm and encourage our allies to join us in the fight for the soul of our nation.”

DeSantis responded to the Florida NAACP’s request for a travel advisory in March, calling the decision “a joke.”

“That’s why our country is going through all this… we get caught up in all these stupid fights. That’s a trick to try,” DeSantis said at a news conference. “It’s a pure stunt. And well, if you want to waste your time doing a stunt, that’s fine. But I don’t waste my time doing your stunts. I’ll make sure we get things done here.”

WFLA has asked the Office of the Governor for comment on the NAACP National Board’s decision.

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