CENTRAL ILLINOIS (WMBD) — On Saturday, the NAACP issued a travel advisory for the state of Florida. This travel advisory stems bills being signed by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis including the most recent to defund diversity, equity and inclusion at all state universities.
“This is one of many actions we will take. But you know enough has been enough,” said Marsha Ellison, Legislative Affairs Chair for Florida NAACP State Conference.
The advisory is not a call to boycott Florida.
“It’s kind of a modern-day Green Book, letting you know what you can expect when you come to the State of Florida,” said Ellison.
The Green Book served as a guide for safe places that African-Americans can travel to during the segregation era.
“That’s where we were yesterday. That’s where we were 200 years ago. That’s where we’ve been. And the truth sometimes hurt,” said Linda Foster, Bloomington-Normal NAACP Branch President.
Now, the NAACP travel advisory has several warning statements including, “Please be advised that the State of Florida does not value diversity, equity, and inclusion in Florida schools, colleges and universities.”
Local NAACP leadership is chiming in.
“Florida certainly is a destination for many travelers. But we also know the economic impact of when people do not travel. And sometimes they may not listen to others when they vocalize their concerns. But when the dollars start to be affected then that tends to garner a lot of attention,” Dr. Carla Campbell-Jackson, First Vice-President of Bloomington-Normal NAACP Branch.
The NAACP also warns travelers, “If you do decide to go to the State of Florida, please be aware of the open hostility towards African Americans and people of color.”
“It calls in a new generation to see that the fights that are being fought today are some of the same fights that were being fought then. Nothing is settled. There’s always a backlash to progress,” said Pastor Marvin Hightower, President of the Peoria NAACP Branch.
Foster and Campbell-Jackson said they are in full support of the advisory.
“Our brothers and sisters in Florida have asked us to follow our National NAACP leadership on their recommendation. And we will just do that. When one hurt we all hurt,” said Foster.
“Anytime there’s an effort to support any special mandate to advance the African-American community, then certainly we will do so,” said Campbell-Jackson.