NAACP issues travel advisory for Florida even though board chairman lives in state
The NAACP issued a travel advisory against Florida despite its chairman living in the Tampa Bay area.
“Florida is openly hostile toward African Americans, people of color and LGBTQ+ individuals,” reads a formal advisory on the NAACP’s website. “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.”
The ominous warning comes despite the fact that Leon W. Russell, who is the chairman of the NAACP Board of Directors, lives in the Tampa Bay area. According to Russell’s Twitter profile, the NAACP leader currently lives in the Tampa Bay area, while his profile on the NAACP website lists numerous posts he has held for the organization within the state of Florida.
Yet a press release by the NAACP reasons that the advisory was “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 organization cited several bills signed by DeSantis to justify the advisory, including Florida’s constitutional carry law, restrictions on abortion, and a ban on funding for DEI programs at the state’s public universities.
The NAACP first floated the possibility of the advisory in March, something DeSantis dismissed at the time as a “joke.”
“This is a stunt to try to do that,” DeSantis said. “It’s a pure stunt. And fine, if you want to waste your time on a stunt, that’s fine. But I’m not wasting my time on your stunts. I’m going to make sure that we’re getting things done here.”
The governor’s office took a similar approach to the news Tuesday, dismissing the advisory while citing the state’s strong tourism numbers.
“As Gov. DeSantis announced last week, Florida is seeing record-breaking tourism,” DeSantis press secretary Jeremy Redfern told Fox News Digital. “This is nothing more than a stunt.”
The NAACP did not immediately respond to a Fox News request for comment.