Gov. Ron DeSantis has joined the Florida NAACP in a civil rights group over the idea that the state will issue travel advisories because the governor's policies affect people of color.
Members of the Florida chapter of the NAACP gathered in Orlando on Saturday for a meeting where they voted to ask the group's national council to issue travel advisories, the Tampa Bay Times reported. Similar recommendations have been made in the past to states that the NAACP has deemed discriminatory.
"We're not going to take any more, we've done enough," said Isaiah Ramlin, president of the Jacksonville chapter of the NAACP, which supports the travel advisory initiative.
DeSantis responded to the NAACP vote in Florida on Thursday.
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"What a joke," said the governor. "What a joke, yes, let's see how effective it is."
"You know our country is in this situation where we get into these stupid wars," DeSantis said. "Trying to do it is a gimmick. It's just a gimmick, and that's fine. If you want to waste your time with gimmicks, that's fine. I'm not going to waste my time with your gimmicks. That's fine. I'll make sure we do good things here. And we'll continue to make this state great."
Ramlin says DeSantis and his policies are a joke.
"It's not a trick, it's not a joke," Ramlin said. "Let's be realistic and we'll see and he'll see the results."
Rumlin pointed to several actions taken by DeSantis that affect how race is discussed in Florida schools. DeSantis pushed the Stop Vigilance Act, which critics say would force schools to clean up ugly parts of national history linked to race, and blocked a newly developed course in African-American studies. The governor created a new selective police force that has so far primarily targeted Florida's black residents.
DeSantis wants to eliminate all diversity, equity and inclusion programs at Florida universities.
"The governor is very sensitive to the issues facing people of color in the state of Florida," Rumlin said.
Civil rights leaders had previously used economic pressure to boycott.
“One must force the governor and his policies to do the right thing and one of the ways we do that is by advising travelers not to travel to this state. It will have a huge impact on Florida's economy, Ramlin said.
USA TODAY Network – Florida reporter Kathryn Warren contributed to this report.
This article originally appeared in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune; Florida NAACP issues travel advisories amid conflict with Gov. Ron DeSantis.