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ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — The NAACP over the weekend issued a travel advisory for Florida, joining 2 other civil rights groups in warning potential tourists that recent laws & policies championed by Gov. Ron DeSantis and Florida lawmakers are “openly hostile toward African Americans, people of color & LGBTQ+ individuals.”
The NAACP, long an advocate for Black Americans, joined the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), a Latino civil rights organization & Equality Florida, a gay rights advocacy group, in issuing travel advisories for the Sunshine State.
The warning approved Saturday by the NAACP’s board of directors tells tourists that, before traveling to Florida, they should understand the state of Florida “devalues & marginalizes the contributions of & the challenges faced by African Americans & other communities of color.”
Florida is one of the most popular states in the U.S. for tourists & tourism is one of its biggest industries. More than 137.5 million tourists visited Florida last year, marking a return to pre-pandemic levels. Tourism supports 1.6 million full-time & part-time jobs & visitors spent $98.8 billion in Florida in 2019, the last year figures are available.
Several of Florida’s Democratic mayors were quick to say Sunday that their cities welcomed diversity & inclusion.
The NAACP’s decision comes after the DeSantis’ administration in January rejected the College Board’s Advanced Placement African American Studies course. DeSantis & Republican lawmakers also have pressed forward with measures that ban state colleges from having programs on diversity, equity & inclusion, as well as critical race theory, & also passed the Stop WOKE Act that restricts certain race-based conversations & analysis in schools & businesses.
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