By Paul Blythe
The third civil rights group in less than a month has issued or called for a travel advisory warning its constituency to avoid travel to Florida because recent laws and policies put into place by the Republican-controlled Legislature and Gov. Ron DeSantis could put their safety, health and freedom at risk.
The Florida Immigrant Coalition last week joined Equality Florida, the state’s largest LGBTQ civil rights group, and the NAACP in warning that “traveling to Florida is dangerous” and cautioning those who do travel here to “make a clear safety plan.” “Reconsider travel to Florida due to unconstitutional laws which abuse civil liberties,” the Florida Immigrant Coalition’s advisory said.
Equality Florida’s advisory, also issued last week, warns that “Florida may not be a safe place to visit or take up residence” due to “laws that are hostile to the LGBTQ+ community, restrict access to reproductive health care, repeal gun safety laws and allow untrained, unpermitted carry (of firearms), and foment racial prejudice.” The advisory also says, “The Governor has also weaponized state agencies to impose sanctions against businesses large and small that disagree with his attacks on diversity, equity, and inclusion.”
The NAACP Florida State Conference voted unanimously on March 24 to ask its national Board of Directors to issue a travel advisory urging the nation’s Black community to avoid visiting or moving to Florida. The recommendation will be reviewed by the board in May. NAACP leaders cited the DeSantis administration’s attacks against teaching Black history in Florida public school, including stopping the teaching of the Advanced Placement Black History course in public high schools. “Any location in America where our history has been erased does not offer us, or our children, a bright future,” Board Chairman Leon W. Russell said in a statement released by the NAACP.