OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
A black Florida business owner doesn’t think much of the NAACP’s recent “travel warning” to those thinking about taking a trip to the Sunshine State in the near future.
The legacy civil rights group issued the ‘warning’ earlier this week, accusing Florida of being “hostile toward African Americans, people of color and LGBTQ+ individuals.”
The organization claimed in a press release that the action was “in direct response to Governor Ron DeSantis’ aggressive attempts to erase Black history and to restrict diversity, equity, and inclusion programs in Florida schools.”
The NAACP highlighted several bills that the governor recently signed, such as restrictions on abortion, the enactment of the constitutional carry law, and the prohibition of funding for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) programs in Florida’s public universities.
“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 statement read.
Mike Hill, the owner of an independent insurance and financial services agency in Pensacola, told Fox News Digital in response: “I would tell black people who have seen this advisory to not come to Florida to simply ignore it.”
“I believe that they see the amount of tens of millions of dollars that Black Lives Matter has been able to raise from the leftist agenda, and so they want a part of that gravy train,” he told the outlet. “I believe it was more a publicity stunt. It was an attempt to fundraise more than anything else.”
He went on to accuse the left-wing NAACP of issuing the warning as political “fodder” against DeSantis, who declared his candidacy for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination on Wednesday.
“The irony that he has lived here most of his adult life, has actually witnessed the fact that a thousand people a day move to Florida for the opportunity that’s here and that he would still issue out a statement saying don’t come here because of the racist attitudes that exist in Florida,” Hill said.
“I don’t think is going to deter anyone from coming to Florida,” he added. “If anything, I think this is going to backfire on the NAACP and show just how irrelevant they’ve become as an organization.”
DeSantis has also responded to the travel advisory.
“Claiming that Florida is unsafe is a total farce,” DeSantis remarked. “I mean, are you kidding me? You look at cities around this country, they are awash in crime. In Florida, our crime rate is at a 50-year low. You look at the top 25 cities for crime in America, Florida does not have a single one amongst the top 25.”
“And if you look at cities like Baltimore and Chicago, you got kids more likely to get shot than to receive a first-class education,” he continued. “Yet, I don’t see the NAACP batting an eye about all the carnage that’s happening in those areas. So this is a political stunt. These left-wing groups have been doing it for many, many years. And they are colluding with legacy media to try to manufacture a narrative.”
“The good news is fewer and fewer Americans are gullible enough to believe this drivel and platforms like Twitter are there where people can debunk these lies in real-time,” DeSantis added. “I would just say, as an American citizen, if you are uncritically accepting narratives spun by legacy media and left-wing groups, you’re failing at your job of being a conscientious citizen.”
“I think people just see right through it,” he added. “By the way, have any of these travel advisories —because they’ve been doing this for a while, these left-wing groups — have any of them worked? Well, we’re the number one state for net in-migration and have been every year since I’ve been governor,” he said.