The NAACP (National Association For The Advancement Of Colored People) distinguished itself this weekend by issuing a travel advisory, i.e., a warning, for people traveling to Florida. Fair enough you might think, as there are many dangers in having too much of a good time in hot weather. But instead of reminders to pack some sunscreen, the NAACP had something else in mind: “Florida is openly hostile toward African Americans, people of color and LGBTQ+ individuals.”
At first glance this would appear a silly outlier, but the NAACP is actually not the first organisation to issue an advisory about travel to Florida; in fact it piggybacked on a couple of other activist organizations –LULAC (League of United Latin American Citizens) and Equality Florida. LULAC’s advisory concerned Hispanics (both legal and illegal), while Equality Florida only referenced LGBTQ+ people.
Florida admittedly has quite a few dangers for the unwary. But gators sunning themselves on golf courses do not restrict their attacks to minorities. And hurricanes during the summer months (now thankfully more infrequent due to climate change) do not blow onshore as soon as they see a Pride parade. The dangers are coming from the humans – Republicans, especially Ron DeSantis! And this in the week that DeSantis will announce his candidacy for the Presidency. Quite the astonishing coincidence.
The Florida problem for far-left activist organisations, such as the NAACP, is summed up by the Federalist. Since Ron DeSantis won his landslide victory in 2022, “on an almost weekly basis, Florida Republicans are implementing laws designed to defeat leftists’ ongoing jihad against sanity and the American experiment”, writes the Federalist. Most of the woke leftist initiatives that have plagued the U.S. in the past few years have been stopped dead in their tracks in Florida to the horror of the freedom-haters. In Florida, students will no longer have to sit and suffer in silence while DEI nonsense is forced down their throats in public universities. Ditto for Florida’s children at state schools, who will not have to listen to all manner of sex talk in their first three years of schooling. Political indoctrination classes masquerading as history have also been kicked out of Florida’s schools. Florida has also just passed legislation codifying what rights patients and doctors have when it comes to vaccinations and immunity in general (hint: it’s the individual’s choice). DeSantis is also keen to introduce measures to prevent Covid-style lockdowns ever happening again.
Population data would suggest that the NAACP’s characterisation of Florida as a dystopian hellhole has been somewhat exaggerated. Florida is the fastest-growing state in the U.S. in terms of population – a remarkable feat for an already-populous state. Since the pandemic in particular, the biggest population trend in the U.S. is people moving out of high-tax blue states to low-tax red ones. It is no surprise that Florida is the number one destination for these refugees. As well as moving to Florida, people want to visit as well. The Sunshine State has just had a record quarter for tourist visits with 37.9 Million heading for the land of freedom, of which 34.9 Million came from the U.S.
And data overwhelmingly suggests Florida is a state where non-white folks flourish. Miami is well-known as the capital of Latin America due to its high Hispanic population (70%) and its role as the financial and cultural gateway between the strongest economy in the world and some of the most promising ones. The 2020 census, for example, shows Florida has the highest number of businesses with African-American ownership – 15,149 – as opposed to the runner-up California with 13,729 (a state which has nearly twice the population of Florida). Urban Beach Week, the biggest hip hop festival in the world, will take place this Memorial Day Weekend in Miami, with 350,000 hip hop fans expected to attend. People are hoping that Florida’s own hip hop stars, such as Flo Rida and Pitbull, will perform.
As for LULAC’s warning to Hispanics that they will suffer nothing but racial harassment in Ron DeSantis’s state, try telling that to the local Hispanic population. DeSantis won 58% of the Latino vote in 2022, including 68% of Cuban Americans, 56% of Puerto Ricans, and 53% of all other Latinos combined, according to the NBC News exit poll.
The reaction of DeSantis and his team to the advisories was one of unrestrained amusement. Rather than commenting in any serious way, they just had a good laugh. Tweets were sent out documenting Florida’s tourist stats, as well as reminding the leaders of the organisations condemning Florida that they actually seem to love the state – Lewis W. Russell, Chairman of the Board of the NAACP, lives in Tampa, while the NAACP’s VP, Karen Boykin-Towns, likes to go on vacation in Clearwater.
This affair is another nail in the coffin for the NAACP. It had an excellent reputation stemming from its role in the Civil Rights movement. But since then it’s been mostly downhill. It has devolved into a far-Left organisation frozen in time with its mission and tactics unchanged since the 1960s. Although it claims to be non-partisan it has been a tool of the Democrat Party for quite some time. It doesn’t directly fund political candidates, but OpenSecrets data show members have donated exclusively to Democrats since 2016. It could have morphed into a powerful voice for African-Americans taking advantage of all that is on offer in the land of the free, but instead it’s just one more voice trying to whip up old tired grievances.
The travel advisory did get bigged up by the media this week, but only by the media that has taken the Democrats’ shilling. TV networks such as CBS and ABC discussed with a straight face how Florida was descending into darkness. My favourite was from CBS presenter Gayle King: “I keep thinking about the black people that live there. I actually have two sisters that live in Florida… I don’t know. It’s very unsettling to me on many levels.”
She was mute on whether her sisters lived anywhere near the Chairman of the NAACP or rely on any of the 15,149 African-American-owned businesses or know any of the two million+ Hispanic-Americans who voted for Ron DeSantis.