NAACP Issues Travel Advisory for Florida Warning Against Hostility Toward Minorities and LGBTQ+ Individuals

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) issued a formal travel advisory for the state of Florida, warning visitors that the state has become “openly hostile toward African Americans, people of color and LGBTQ+ individuals” under Republican Governor Ron DeSantis’s leadership. The advisory was approved on Saturday and joins similar warnings issued last week from the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) and last month by the gay rights group Equality Florida.[0] All three warnings cite laws recently signed by Governor DeSantis.[0] LULAC pointed to new laws it sees as aggressively and illegally anti-immigrant, while Equality Florida criticized Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” law and newer bans on gender-affirming care and efforts to remove books from school libraries.[0]

The NAACP pointed to DeSantis’s aggressive attempts to erase Black history and to restrict diversity, equity and inclusion programs in Florida schools, calling them in “direct conflict with the democratic ideals that our union was founded upon.” In January, DeSantis declined an Advanced Placement course on African American studies for high school students. Additionally, he enacted a state-wide prohibition on public schools and private enterprises mandating specific training on racial sensitivity.[1]

On Saturday, the NAACP released an advisory, adding to the travel warnings issued by the League of United Latin American Citizens and Equality Florida, two other civil rights organizations that issued similar advisories in the past few weeks. The advisory issued for Florida is considered significant as it has the potential to significantly impact the state’s tourism industry, which is one of its biggest economic drivers.[1] According to Visit Florida, which is the tourism website of the state, Florida received the highest number of visitors in its history last year, with almost 140 million tourists.[2] Moreover, Florida’s tourism industry sustains 1.7 million positions, both full-time and part-time, while guests have expended $102 billion in the state in 2021.[2]

Earlier this month, DeSantis signed a bill that limits undocumented migrant labor, ends community-funded programs that give undocumented immigrants identification cards, and toughens penalties against those who transport undocumented immigrants into the state.[3] Last Monday, DeSantis reinforced his efforts to hinder diversity initiatives by enacting a law that prevents colleges from utilizing public funds for diversity, equity, and inclusion programs.[4] Months prior to that, he signed into law the Stop WOKE Act, which restricts how workplaces and schools can discuss race and blocked an Advanced Placement African American studies course in the state’s public schools, claiming it lacked “educational value.”

The NAACP has sent 10,000 books, mostly those subject to increasingly restrictive book bans, to 25 predominantly Black communities across the state in response to legislation limiting African-American studies in school.[2] In a statement from Derrick Johnson, the NAACP’s president and chief executive, he said under DeSantis Florida had “become hostile to Black Americans and in direct conflict with the democratic ideals that our union was founded upon.” Republican Representative Byron Donalds of Florida criticized the advisory, calling it “really stupid” and “political.

0. “NAACP, other rights groups warn tourists to avoid ‘openly hostile’ Florida” The Week, 22 May. 2023,

1. “NAACP warns Black Americans against traveling to Florida because of DeSantis policies”, 22 May. 2023,

2. “Why the NAACP issued a Florida travel advisory in rebuke to DeSantis: ‘This is how he looks at us'” Yahoo News, 22 May. 2023,

3. “Civil-rights group issues Florida travel alert in response to DeSantis immigration crackdown” Miami Herald, 18 May. 2023,

4. “NAACP issues travel advisory in state under DeSantis’ leadership” WPTV News Channel 5 West Palm, 21 May. 2023,

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