Florida NAACP Calls for Travel Advisory as DeSantis Pushes to Erase Black History
The NAACP Florida Chapter has voted to ask the organization’s national board to issue a travel advisory, according to the Tampa Bay Times, in response to state Gov. Ron DeSantis’ push for legislation banning diversity and inclusion initiatives.
“We fought very hard to get diversity to get inclusion,” said Isaiah Rumlin, president of the NAACP’s branch in Jacksonville. “We fought very hard for voting rights. All of these policies and laws are trying to revert back to where we were in the past.”
During the NAACP’s state conference in Orlando on Saturday, Florida NAACP members voted unanimously to recommend that the national board issue a nationwide travel advisory asking people to not move to or visit the Sunshine State.
DeSantis’ administration has focused on censoring public education in the state’s legislative culture war, including pushing for a widespread ban on the teaching of topics deemed related to Critical Race Theory (CRT). Although a judge recently denied a request from Florida’s government to block an injunction against DeSantis’ “Stop-Woke” act in the state’s public colleges, DeSantis’ administration rejected dozens of math books — claiming some contained CRT. In January, Florida blocked the College Board from testing a pilot Advanced Placement African American Studies (APAAS).
During a press briefing in Clay County on Thursday, DeSantis called the NAACP’s decision a “joke” and a “stunt,” adding “I’m not wasting my time on your stunts.”
“This is not a stunt, this is not a joke,” Rumlin said in response, per the Herald-Tribune. “We are for real, and we intend to see it through, and he will see the results.”
“The governor is very insensitive as it relates to issues facing people of color in the state of Florida,” Rumlin added. “Somebody’s going to have to stand up against the governor and his policies and make him do the right thing and one of the ways we are going to do it is in the form of a travel advisory, advising people not to visit the state, which will have a vast impact on the economy of the state of the Florida.”
“We are an organization that protects people’s civil rights, and this is a first step to doing that,” Hillsborough County NAACP President Yvette Lewis told the Times. “People are seeing what’s happening in Florida. They’re paying attention, and I hope that help is coming.”