Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has been a lightning rod of controversy throughout his time in office. From scuttling AP African American history in the state to banning diversity programs at colleges, the veteran-turned-politician has made Florida a difficult place to live for anyone belonging to a marginalized group.
via: CBS News
A civil rights group’s advisory cautioning people from visiting Florida is “nothing more than a stunt,” a spokesperson for Gov. Ron DeSantis said Monday.
The statement came just days after the NAACP issued a formal travel advisory for Florida in response to what the organization described as DeSantis’s “aggressive attempts to erase Black history and to restrict diversity, equity, and inclusion programs in Florida schools.”
The DeSantis administration in January blocked the introduction of an Advanced Placement course for high school students that focuses on African American studies.
The NAACP is not alone in issuing travel advisories about Florida and they come as the governor prepares to launch his presidential campaign (perhaps this week, according to sources) and raise his national profile amid.
The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) previously cautioned people about visiting the state. The LULAC advisory cited strict Florida laws dealing with immigrants. LULA’s president Domingo Garcia described Florida as being “dangerous, hostile environment for law-abiding Americans and immigrants.”
LGBTQ advocacy group Equality Florida also issued an advisory after DeSantis signed the so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bill into law in March.
“That law, along with additional proposals being considered, has turned the state’s classrooms into political battlefields and is telegraphing to LGBTQ families and students that they are not welcome in Florida,” the group said.
The law also sparked an ongoing feud between DeSantis and Disney. Most recently, Disney canceled a $1 billion plan to build an office complex in Florida.
Tourism is a massive industry in Florida and Disney plays a large role. Last year, around 137.6 million people visited the state, according to tourism agency Visit Florida. Visitors contributed $101.9 billion to the state’s economy and supported more than 1.7 million jobs in 2021.
“As Governor DeSantis announced last week, Florida is seeing record-breaking tourism. This is nothing more than a stunt,” DeSantis’ spokesperson said Monday about the NAACP advisory.