On the day Florida Governor Ron DeSantis returned to his home state after traveling to New Hampshire, the NAACP issued a travel advisory for those choosing to travel to the Sunshine state — citing laws that the organization said restrict diversity, equity, and inclusion.
The NAACP Board of Directors issued the formal notice in direct response to Governor Ron DeSantis' aggressive attempts to erase Black history and to restrict diversity, equity, and inclusion programs in Florida schools.
The notice states:
"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 President and CEO Derrick Johnson also issued a statement regarding the travel advisory:
"Let me be clear - failing to teach an accurate representation 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. Under the leadership of Governor Desantis, the state of Florida has become hostile to Black Americans and in direct conflict with the democratic ideals that our union was founded upon. He should know that democracy will prevail because its defenders are prepared to stand up and fight. We're not backing down, and we encourage our allies to join us in the battle for the soul of our nation."
The Board of Directors pointed to DeSantis' quarrel with the College Board back in March when his administration rejected the proposed AP African American studies course. They also said they distributed 10,000 books to 25 predominantly Black communities across the state in collaboration with the American Federation of Teachers' Reading Opens the World program and the majority of the books were titles that were banned under the state's book ban laws.
On Saturday night, DeSantis spoke at an Orlando gala just days away from the expected launch of his 2024 presidential campaign.