DeSantis blasts NAACP for Florida travel advisory as ‘political stunt’

GOP presidential candidate Ron DeSantis blasted the NAACP Wednesday for issuing a travel advisory to Florida in response to the state’s education, immigration and LGBTQ policies.

The governor accused the civil rights organization of pulling a “political stunt” by warning people of color and LGBTQ+ individuals against visiting the Sunshine State Saturday for allegedly fostering an “openly hostile” environment toward minority groups.

“Claiming that Florida is unsafe is a total farce. I mean, are you kidding me?” DeSantis said during his glitchy campaign announcement session with Elon Musk.

“You look at cities around this country, they are awash with crime. In Florida, our crime rate is at a 50-year low. You look at the top 25 cities for crime in America — Florida does not have a single one amongst the top 25.

“If you look at cities like Baltimore and Chicago, you got kids more likely to get shot than to receive a first-class education, yet I don’t see the NAACP batting an eye about all the outrage and the carnage that’s happening in those areas. So this is a political stunt.”

DeSantis did not address the root of the NAACP’s travel advisory, which the group explicitly states is in direct response to his “aggressive attempts to erase Black history and to restrict diversity, equity, and inclusion programs in Florida schools.”

Ron DeSantis called the NAACP’s travel advisory to Florida a “political stunt.”
Ron DeSantis

The formal travel notice was issued over the weekend in the wake of several pieces of legislation signed into law by DeSantis that tackle what he labels “woke ideology.”

In the last year, Florida rejected students’ access to an AP course on African American studies and banned the discussion of gender identity for kids in elementary school grades.

Last week, DeSantis signed into law a bill that bans state and federal funding for diversity, equity and inclusion programs at state colleges and universities, and he is expected to soon sign another bill that bans transgender people from using public restrooms that don’t align with their sex at birth.

Demonstrators gather outside the Four Season Hotel in Miami, Florida, on May 24, 2023, as Florida Governor Ron DeSantis holds fundraising events.
The NAACP blasted DeSantis as a “hate-inspired” leader who was pushing legislation aimed at hurting minority communities.
AFP via Getty Images

The NAACP labeled DeSantis as a “hate-inspired” leader who is actively engaging in a “blatant war against principles of diversity and inclusion.”

“Let me be clear – failing to teach an accurate representation of the horrors and inequalities that Black Americans have faced and continue to face is a disservice to students and a dereliction of duty to all,” said NAACP President & CEO Derrick Johnson in a statement. 

“Under the leadership of Governor Desantis, the state of Florida has become hostile to Black Americans and in direct conflict with the democratic ideals that our union was founded upon. He should know that democracy will prevail because its defenders are prepared to stand up and fight. We’re not backing down, and we encourage our allies to join us in the battle for the soul of our nation.”

Derrick Johnson of the NAACP.
NAACP President Derrick Johnson said Florida has become “hostile” to black Americans under DeSantis’ leadership.

DeSantis formally launched his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination Wednesday in a video that promised to fight indoctrination.

The Republican favorite pointed to his leadership in the Sunshine State and said he would use Florida as a field guide for how he would lead the entire country.