The members say Black and marginalized people in the Sunshine State are under attack by Gov. DeSantis’ administration.
The NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) Florida Chapter wants to hit Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration where it hurts: the pocketbook.
Members of the organization voted unanimously at the state conference last weekend in Orlando, to ask the national board to issue a travel advisory to Florida, especially for people of color.
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Members of the chapter say Black and marginalized people are under attack in the Sunshine State. For the past year, the DeSantis administration has made moves to strip the rights of communities of color through redistricting maps, voting fraud arrests, and whitewashing history with their anti CRT school policies, among other decisions.
“Saying you don’t want AP African American Studies here because they have certain topics in it, certain categories, certain words in it. You don’t want companies to have the word diversity, equity, and inclusion because it has institutional racism in their policy. You know, it takes us back. And we’ve been fighting so hard,” Hillsborough County Chapter President Yvette Lewis said at the conference.
NAACP’s travel advisory would warn people of color across the country to not come to Florida, not send their children to Florida, and not vacation in Florida if the person is Black, James Muwakkil, the Lee County NAACP branch president explained.
Tourism is one of the strongest industries in the state.
Florida broke tourism records in 2022, according to state data. The Sunshine State received 137.6 million visitors for the year, an increase of 13% from 2021, and 5% from pre-pandemic 2019.
This is the second time the organization, the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization, has pushed for a travel advisory or boycott.
In 1999, the NAACP issued a boycott of South Carolina over the confederate flag being flown at the state’s capitol building. The flag was removed permanently in 2015, and the organization kept boycotting until then.
On Thursday, DeSantis called NCAAP’s intentions a “joke,” when a reporter asked about it during a news conference.
“Yeah, we’ll see how effective that is,” DeSantis said, adding that it was “ridiculous.”