British holidaymakers travelling to Florida, US have been warned of a ‘hostile’ environment towards people of colour and LGBTQ+ individuals. The travel advice comes in response to Governor Ron DeSantis' making a series of controversial announcements. .
The warnings from groups representing Black and Latino Americans come as Florida's Republican governor, Ron DeSantis, is expected to enter the presidential race in 2024 with a platform based on the conservative agenda he's fostered in the state.
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), who issued the advice said: "Florida is openly hostile toward African Americans, people of colour and LGBTQ+ individuals. Before travelling to Florida, please understand that the state of Florida devalues and marginalises the contributions of, and the challenges faced by African Americans and other communities of colour."
Florida has prohibited the teaching of critical race theory, which recognises institutional racism as a part of American history and questions the assumptions that permitted it to grow. According to the governor, the approach would educate youngsters that "the country is rotten and our institutions are illegitimate."
DeSantis has backed legislation that prohibits teaching that someone is privileged or oppressed because of their race or skin colour. His administration also vetoed a prototype version of a new Advanced Placement course in African American studies for high school students, claiming that it "significantly lacks educational value."
NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson said: "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.
"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."
Chair of the NAACP Board of Directors, Leon Russell said: "Once again, hate-inspired state leaders have chosen to put politics over people. Governor Ron DeSantis and the state of Florida have engaged in a blatant war against principles of diversity and inclusion and rejected our shared identities to appeal to a dangerous, extremist minority.
"We will not allow our rights and history to be held hostage for political grandstanding. The NAACP proudly fights against the malicious attacks in Florida, against Black Americans. I encourage my fellow Floridians to join in this fight to protect ourselves and our democracy."