Friday, June 21, 2024

NAACP leader defends staying in Florida despite org's travel warning: 'We haven't asked anyone to leave'


Leon W. Russell, chairman of the NAACP’s board of directors, pushed back against criticism for his organization’s travel advice for black people in the state of Florida, while he himself lived in the Tampa Bay area.

Appearing on MSNBC’s “The ReadOut,” Russell discussed the recent reaction to the NAACP warning black people against traveling to Florida following “Governor Ron DeSantis’ aggressive efforts to erase black history.”

The formal visit notice from the NAACP Board of Directors states, “Florida is openly hostile toward African Americans, people of color, and LGBTQ+ individuals.” “Before you travel to Florida, please understand that the State of Florida devalues ​​and marginalizes the contributions and challenges of African Americans and other communities of color.”

Christian Ziegler, chairman of the Florida Republican Party, said Russell’s Twitter account shows he currently lives in the Tampa Bay area.

NAACP issues travel advisory for Florida while board president is in state


Ziegler commented on the apparent hypocrisy and offered to pay Russell to leave the state:

“@NAACP President lives in Tampa, Florida! True leadership is willing to do what you tell others to do… Time to step up and move on. If you think our state is that bad , then @FloridaGOP will help move the cost.”

Russell pushed back on “The ReadOut”, saying that Ziggler was “full of bull—-“.

“First, he’s full of bull—-. Second, you need to understand it’s not about money, it’s about people, it’s about humanity. Third, quite frankly Formally, we haven’t asked anyone to leave. In fact, the NAACP is encouraging people to stay here and fight. If there was a reason to stand by your side, it’s black people, the LGBT community, immigrants There are communities, women, who need to stand and fight their ground in Florida, and understand that that fight is a political fight.”

He continued, “It’s time to look at policy makers, to remember what they’re doing, whether at the city council, school board, county commission level, or whether they Running for the highest office in the land, it is time for us to understand what his record is and how he has done it.”


Russell previously made a statement attacking DeSantis with a travel advisory warning.

“Once again, state leaders driven by hate have chosen to play politics over the people. Governor Ron DeSantis and the State of Florida are engaged in a blatant war against the principles of diversity and inclusion and to appeal to a dangerous, extremist minority has rejected our shared identity,” Russell said in the press release.

NAACP issues travel advisory for Black Americans traveling to DeSantis’ Florida: ‘Openly hostile’

He continued, “We will not let our rights and history be held hostage for political grandstanding. The NAACP proudly fights against malicious attacks against Black Americans in Florida. I encourage my fellow Floridians to join me in this fight.” so that we can save ourselves and ours.” democracy.”

In a statement to Fox News Digital, DeSantis’ press secretary Jeremy Redfern criticized the advice, saying, “As Governor DeSantis announced last week, Florida is seeing record-breaking tourism. This is nothing more than a stunt.” “


The NAACP originally raised the possibility of a travel advisory back in March. At the time, DeSantis referred to it as a “joke” and a stunt.

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“It’s a stunt to try to do,” DeSantis then said. “This is a pure stunt. And okay, if you want to waste your time on stunts, fine. But I’m not wasting your time on stunts. I’m going to make sure we work here.” are doing.” ,