Last Saturday, at a conference for the Florida NAACP in Orlando, members voted unanimously for a proposal to ask the national NAACP to issue a travel advisory to Florida, specifically for people who are not white. They have felt that governor Ron DeSantis (R) pushed extreme policies, such as arresting non-whites for “voter fraud”, diluting black voting power through gerrymandering, whitewashing history in schools, and hunting down anything “woke”. If the proposal is approved by the national NAACP, Florida will be in the company of South Carolina and Missouri when it comes to states that the NAACP issued travel advisories to.
When the vote came back unanimously, Hillsborough County NAACP President Yvette Lewis said she felt relief.
“We are an organization that protects people’s civil rights, and this is a first step to doing that,” Lewis said. “People are seeing what’s happening in Florida. They’re paying attention, and I hope that help is coming.”
Lewis said that she was not expecting the vote but wasn’t surprised about it, either.
“When slaves tried to educate themselves, they were beaten. When they tried to learn to read, they were killed for having books,” Lewis said. “I have to relate this back because this is how I feel.”
However, Ron DeSantis scoffs at the proposal. When DeSantis spoke at a news conference at Ridgeview High School in the Jacksonville suburb of Orange Park, the crowd bursted with laughter when a news reporter asked DeSantis on his thoughts about the proposal for a travel advisory.
What a joke. What a joke. Yeah, we’ll see how effective that is. You know, just remember, during COVID, these people would be on CNN, all this stuff, slamming Florida, saying we were so bad, don’t go to Florida, and then they would end up being spotted on the beach somewhere, vacationing in Florida. So this is just ridiculous.
It's a pure stunt. And fine, if you want to waste your time on a stunt, that's fine. Look, I'm not wasting my time on your stunts, OK? I'm going to make sure that we're getting things done here and we're going to continue to make this state a great state.
One must also note that Ron DeSantis, who believed that topics like intersectionality and queer theory are laden with “neo-Marxism”, authored the book Dreams From Our Founding Fathers: First Principles in the Age of Obama. The book, whilst largely forgotten, is available as an eBook at Barnes & Noble; here is the “overview” found on the B&N website:
The Age of Obama has sparked widespread public discontent, the formation of tea parties, and a renewed emphasis on the philosophy of the Founding Fathers. Dreams From Our Founding Fathers: First Principles in the Age of Obama shows why so many Americans have turned to the nation's founding principles in response to Barack Obama's self-described "transformational change" agenda.
Using critical primary sources like the debates at the Constitutional Convention and The Federalist Papers, Ron DeSantis identifies the important principles that the Founders relied upon when they created the Constitution and demonstrates how Obama and his allies have radically departed from them. On issue after issue—the scope of government, the redistribution of wealth, the role of the courts, political leadership, and foreign affairs, among others—Obama has chartered a course that is alien to the Republic's philosophical foundations.
America is at a constitutional crossroads. Obama's vision rests heavily on progressive thought and the plethora of left-of-center political influences that have informed his worldview, and portends a decidedly less exceptional America, an America more akin to governments throughout Europe, in which the state, rather than the individual, is supreme.
Such a vision is a far cry from the dreams bequeathed to us by the Founding Fathers, who created a constitution based on enduring truths about individual liberty and the role of government. The voters' choice between these competing visions will define the national character for a generation and, perhaps, irrevocably. Alexander Hamilton's observation in The Federalist No. 1, regarding the state of affairs in his time, is equally apt to our time: "The crisis at which we are arrived may with propriety be regarded as the era in which that decision is to be made; and a wrong election of the part we shall act may, in this view, deserve to be considered as the general misfortune of mankind."
His unapologetic hard-right stature, however, may not be enough to overcome Donald Trump should he run in the Republican Primary for the 2024 Presidential Election. Even donors and allies of DeSantis are sceptical.