On Saturday (May 20), the NAACP Board of Directors issued a travel advisory for Black Americans in response to Governor Ron DeSantis’ alleged malicious policies.
NAACP’s board asserted that DeSantis’ recent rhetoric has been “hostile to Black Americans.”
“Florida is openly hostile toward African Americans, people of color, and LGBTQ+ individuals,” the NAACP said in an official statement. “Before traveling to Florida, please understand that the state of Florida devalues and marginalizes the contributions of, and the challenges faced by African Americans and other communities of color.”
The civil rights organization continued, referencing the Florida Department of Education’s January 2023 letter which rejected AP African American Studies curriculum.
“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 Derrick Johnson, NAACP President & CEO. “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.”
Ron DeSantis created and signed the “Stop W.O.K.E.” initiative into law in 2022. As part of the motion, he blocked Florida and the College Board from pilot testing Advanced Placement African American Studies (APAAS) curriculum.
The National Review obtained a letter detailing Florida’s Department of Education’s Office of Articulation’s decision. “The APAAS curriculum is inexplicably contrary to Florida law and significantly lacks educational value,” the letter read. “In the future, should College Board be willing to come back to the table with lawful, historically accurate content, FDOE will always be willing to reopen the discussion.”
The controversial act prohibits teaching race relations or diversity signifying “status as either privileged or oppressed” and “necessarily determined by his or her race, color, national origin, or sex.”
“Stop W.O.K.E.” also forbids schools and workplaces from “subjecting any student or employee to training or instruction that espouses, promotes, advances, inculcates, or compels such individuals to believe specified concepts constitutes discrimination based on race, color, sex, or national origin.”