Fox News star Geraldo Rivera slammed the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) for their ” fear-mongering” Florida travel advisory.
Rivera said he regards the NAACP as “one of the most venerated and respected civil organizations” that has existed during his lifetime.
Though he noted that while the organization has “fought the good fight for civil rights,” their warning was “ridiculous.”
“This is a travel advisory. This is a warning to tourists to stay out of Florida and I think in that regard, it really is a fear-mongering publicity stunt and I find it very much to be in bad taste,” he said on Monday morning.
The NAACP has issued a travel advisory, warning black people to avoid Florida. No, seriously.
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) May 21, 2023
The organization said that the state is “openly hostile toward African Americans, people of color and LGBTQ+ individuals,” in a Saturday press release.
“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 NAACP cautioned over the weekend.
The statement said that the travel advisory was a “direct response” to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ aggressive attempts to erase Black history” from state schools.
The 25,000 Black people out at the Haitian Compas Festival last night most certainly did not get the NAACP’s memo about how dangerous Florida is for Black people! pic.twitter.com/QDKkZP9Nvf
— Lavern Spicer 🇺🇸 (@lavern_spicer) May 21, 2023
In January, the the Florida Department of Education rejected a proposal for an Advanced Placement (AP) African American Studies, which included both queer and critical race theory.
Rivera said that the travel advisory should be compared to the “real” one issued days ago by the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), for a new Florida law that will invalidate out-of-state identification cards issued to illegal migrants, thus making it impossible for them to legally drive.
“So if you tell people without licenses they’re going to get busted by cops, that’s one thing,” he told Martha MacCallum.
“This is not about instilling fear in the hearts of black tourists who come to Florida by the millions, who represent a substantial portion, 16% of Florida’s population,” Rivera argued.
“Many, many million there, black people and middle-class black people and people of perfectly satisfied to live in the state and now here comes a tourist advisory, a travel advisory, stay out of Florida? It is ridiculous.”
One of those people is NCAAP Chairman of the Board, Leon Russell, who was quoted in the travel advisory, but lives in Florida.
“We will not not allow our rights and history to be held hostage for political grandstanding,” he said about DeSantis.
“The NAACP proudly fights against the malicious attacks in Florida, against Black Americans. I encourage my fellow Floridians to join in this fight to protect ourselves and our democracy.”
Florida GOP Chairman Christian Ziegler was quick to point out that Russell lives in central Florida, and told the chairman to put his money where his mouth is.
“The CHAIRMAN of the @NAACP lives in Tampa, FLORIDA!” he tweeted on Sunday.
“True leadership is being willing to do what you ask others to do … time to step up and MOVE. If you think our state is so bad, the @FloridaGOP will help with moving costs.”
Democratic strategist Aisha Mills told MSNBC Florida was a “terrorist state,” but admitted to taking her family on a trip there as recently as the spring break holiday this year.
“I just took my family to spring break in Florida recently, and I think about all of the folks who travel there for sun and joy and peace and restoration,” she commented.
“To be reminded that actually this is getting to the point where Florida is about to be a terrorist state to many of us here in America.”
“Certainly as a lesbian, as a black woman, I don’t want to have anything to do with the place,” Mills concluded.