Florida NAACP chapters lash out against state legislation

NAACP members requested permission to issue travel advisory in Florida

Florida NAACP chapters are reacting to recent legislation and messaging from Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Marsha Ellison, president of the Ft. Lauderdale Broward Chapter, is calling this the “Black attack” and wants to warn people across state lines about what to expect in the Sunshine State.

Local NAACP chapters have requested permission from the national board of directors to issue a travel advisory to the state of Florida.

Ellison said this past Saturday, members voted unanimously at the annual spring conference in Orlando to send the request.

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She said it is their duty to make Black people aware of what to expect when coming here.

“We plan to educate those who plan to visit, move, drive, breathe anything in the state of Florida,” Ellison said.

The chapter president said the organization wants to make sure people are safe.

“Safety is certainly a consideration when you think about all the draconian laws that are being passed not to mention where we are that’s on deck as far as permit less carry,” Ellison said.

NAACP members spoke out against House Bill 999, which would restrict DEI and critical race theory programs in Florida schools.

“This bill is designed to do is to make sure the state university system is following through on its statutory mission of preparing students that are coming to state universities for in-demand jobs, developing the human resources and human capital of the state,” State Rep. Alex Andrade said.

Gov. Ron DeSantis responded to the NAACP’s actions during an announcement in Clay County.

“This is a stunt to try to do that: a pure stunt,” DeSantis said.

He called the organization’s actions ridiculous, instead touting Florida for its tourism growth.

“What a joke, yeah, we’ll see how effective that is,” he said.

Ellison said the governor’s leadership is a “joke and very dangerous.”

“The lives of Black people is certainly not a joke to us. The erasure of Black history is not a joke to us,” She said.

However, African American history courses are part of the state’s required curriculum, according to the Florida Department of Education.

Despite their concerns, Ellison and her fellow organizations members don’t plan on leaving the state.

“We are first-class citizens, and we plan to make sure we continue to live as first-class citizens,” she said. “We are going to fight, we are going to stand our ground.”

The national board is expected to discuss this request in May.

Ellison made it clear that a travel advisory is not a call for a boycott or a travel ban.

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Treasure joined News 6 at the start of 2021, coming to the Sunshine State from Michigan.

Anthony, a graduate of the University of Florida, joined ClickOrlando.com in April 2022.