‘Hate is never welcome here:’ Orange County mayor responds to NAACP travel warning

NAACP says Florida devalues contributions and challenges of communities of color

Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings. (Copyright 2022 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

ORLANDO, Fla. – Orange County’s mayor wants the NAACP to know the county is a welcoming community and not a danger to minority travelers.

Mayor Jerry Demings was responding to the new travel warning for Florida issued by the NAACP on Saturday.

The statement by the civil rights organization said people who travel to Florida should understand the state, “devalues and marginalizes the contributions of, and the challenges faced by African Americans and other communities of color.”

The warning was in response to bans on diversity, equity and inclusion programs in colleges, the DeSantis administration’s rejection of the College Board’s Advanced Placement African American Studies course, and also the passage of the Stop WOKE Act in 2022.

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Demings said he wanted to work with the NAACP.

“Orange County is open for business. Our residents represent a broad diaspora of cultures, which makes us stronger as a society. Please be assured our community values diversity and embraces inclusion. Hate is never welcome here. We look forward to working with the NAACP to reassure them and others that Orange County is a caring, compassionate and welcoming community.”

Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings

The NAACP is the third group to issue a travel warning for Florida. Hispanic group LULAC issued a similar warning earlier this month over the state’s new immigration bill, and so did Equality Florida.

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About the Author:

Christie joined the ClickOrlando team in November 2021.