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First-Ever NAACP Travel Advisory Issued for Missouri

Well, damn.

National and local government agencies are often the only organizations who issue travel advisories to help travelers stay safe by warning about severe weather or violence from unstable governments. But recently, the NAACP issued its first-ever travel warning citing a lack of protection for civil rights in the state. Well, damn.

“Race, gender and color based crimes have a long history in Missouri.”

In the advisory, it warns that people from minority communities aren’t safe in the state, including women, people who are LGBTQ, Muslims, and people of color—Black folks, in particular. “Race, gender and color based crimes have a long history in Missouri.” The statement cites these recent incidents as examples of the hostile climate in the state that include:

  • “Tory Sanford who recently died in a jail cell but was never arrested after running out of gas when he traveled into the state accidently.
  • Racist attacks on University of Missouri students while on the states’ [sic] campuses—as the University of Missouri System spoke in favor of [Senator Gary] Romine’s Jim Crow Bill.
  • Missouri’s legislature Representative Rick Bratton argued that homosexuals are not human beings according to his faith.
  • Black high school students in St. Louis have been attacked with hot glue while denigrated racially.
  • Two internationally born men gunned down outside in [nearby Olathe, Kansas] after their killer thought them to be Muslim.
  • According to the Missouri Attorney General African Americans in Missouri are subjected to excessive traffic [stops]—75% more likely to be stopped and searched based on skin color than Caucasians
  • Public threats of shooting ‘Blacks’ that terrorized University of Missouri students and members of the public.”

The Missouri NAACP chapter released the warning earlier this summer, and at the recent July 22–26 NAACP convention, delegates voted to recognize the advisory on a national level. The travel advisory minces no words, stating that it is a direct result of what the Missouri NAACP has called the “Jim Crow Bill,” or Senate Bill 43, that was recently passed in the state senate and signed into law by Missouri Governor Eric Greitens. The advisory states that the bill “legalizes individual discrimination and harassment in Missouri and would prevent individuals from protecting themselves from discrimination, harassment, and retaliation in Missouri.”

The travel advisory minces no words, stating that it is a direct result of a “Jim Crow Bill” that was recently passed in the state senate and signed into law by Missouri Governor Eric Greitens.

Missouri NAACP President Rod Chapel Jr. told CNN in a report that he hopes the law that was based on the “Jim Crow Bill” will be repealed and that certain police reforms and state prosecution reforms would be the first steps toward addressing the issues that led to the advisory in the first place. Though it’s possible that the travel advisory will be lifted, it may not happen anytime soon.

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