In an unprecedented step, the NAACP has issued a travel advisory for the state of Florida, attributing the move to the hostile environment that it says Republican Governor Ron DeSantis has fostered for people of color. The advisory was officially communicated on Saturday. NAACP officials issued a statement detailing their concerns.
“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.”
NAACP officials also say that DeSantis has made “aggressive attempts to erase Black history and to restrict diversity, equity and inclusion programs” in Florida schools. The organization points to DeSantis’s efforts to ban books on race and LGBTQ+ issues, renounce a new Advanced Placement (AP) African American Studies course, and prohibit diversity, equity, and inclusion programs at colleges and universities statewide, according to The Miami Herald.
The DeSantis administration has defended its position, asserting that the proposed African American Studies AP course was “inexplicably contrary to Florida law and significantly lacks educational value.” State officials objected to six categories, including: “Black Queer Studies,” “Intersectionality,” “Movement for Black Lives,” “Black Feminist Literary Thought,” “The Reparations Movement,” and “Black Struggle in the 21st Century,” and prohibited books penned by esteemed authors like Kimberlé W. Crenshaw, bell hooks, and Angela Davis. The College Board has been working to revise its curriculum following Florida’s rejection of the AP program.
DeSantis has put education and social issues at the forefront of gubernatorial agenda. Last year he signed the “Stop WOKE Act” into law, which restricts on how race and gender can be discussed in classrooms, and rejects the teaching of critical race theory.
A Latino civil rights organization, the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), and Equality Florida, a gay rights advocacy group, have also issued travel advisories for Florida, according to the Associated Press.