Longtime Civil Rights Group Helps Unite Americans Against Ron DeSantis’s Hate

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The longtime civil rights group known as the NAACP has issued what it is calling a travel advisory, warning its followers of visits to Florida.

State officials, led by GOP Governor Ron DeSantis, who has seemingly been trying to boost his potential support in an expected campaign for Republicans’ nomination for president, have sought to restrict or outright criminalize fundamental expression by those outside the norm they’re trying to push, which is largely straight and white. From the infamous decision to challenge an Advanced Placement (AP) course for high-schoolers in what was termed African American studies to laws demanding transgender people use the bathrooms corresponding to their sex assigned at birth or sharply restricting drag shows, where it’s just not true that there has been some kind of systematic affront to the safety of children, the targeting has been consistent.

Republicans have even tried to block a basic acknowledgement of transgender people’s mere existence, including with a new block on policies for using pronouns for teachers and students that don’t match their sex assigned at birth and with demands that sex ed classes simply entirely exclude transgender people from the conversation, at least as it relates to a basic understanding of the way things are. Schools shall include in their instruction that “these reproductive roles are binary, stable, and unchangeable,” per that legislation’s text.

“Florida is openly hostile toward African Americans, people of color and LGBTQ+ individuals,” the NAACP’s advisory asserted. “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.”

There could be real and serious consequences. For instance, what if a transgender individual who is used to using the restroom in certain public spaces that corresponds to their gender identity encounters a situation in Florida where maybe even police are called when they try to simply do the same? What if a teacher who themselves is LGBTQ+ undertakes a move to Florida and is then sharply penalized in their workplace and blocked from even sharing their correct personal pronouns with students under their care? Republicans are fostering serious intimidation.