NAACP Chairman of the Board of Directors, Leon Russell, responded to the criticism of his organization’s travel advisory for Florida. The travel advisory recommended that blacks, other people of color, and the LGBTQ+ community be careful about coming to the Sunshine State because of certain policies enacted by Governor Ron DeSantis. The two policies the NAACP mentioned were the erasure of diversity, equity, and inclusion from certain programs and the elimination of black history courses.
The policies the NAACP mentioned were not fully accurate and missed some context, but that is not the point. The point is that they essentially told blacks and others to stay away from Florida. They even stated that under DeSantis, Florida was “openly hostile” toward black Americans. There is, however, just one problem. Leon Russell lives in Tampa.
MSNBC invited Leon Russell on their platform to speak about the criticism the NAACP is getting because of where he resides. Russell appeared on the network alongside anchor Joy Reid. He explained that although the NAACP did issue the travel advisory for Florida, they never said that people should leave. Russell said that Floridians currently in the state should stay and fight against the policies of DeSantis. This does not make sense because if Russell wants black (and other Floridians) to stay and fight, then there should have been a rallying call for other people to come and help them fight, rather than telling them to stay away.