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This writer just returned from her wedding anniversary trip.
When my husband and I booked our hotel and flights months ago, we did not anticipate flying right into the epicenter of danger for people like us.
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) issued a travel advisory for all Blacks heading to Florida, in advance of Memorial Day Weekend.
Thousands were expected to hit the Miami Beach area as usual.
Additionally, the world’s largest AfroBeats music festival would draw Africans and the African Diaspora to Miami.
Directed by the illustrious national civil rights organization, we assumed that the advisory was issued out of caution over dangerous conditions from wonton street violence, drug dealing, sexual assaults, or kidnapping.
Then, we read it for ourselves.
On the contrary, the organization suggested that the educational policies of Gov. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., are illustrative of the Sunshine State being "openly hostile" toward Blacks.
If only this was an unfunny April Fool’s Day joke.
Instead, this advisory is a political stunt meant to drive attention, fundraising, and voters to a once-relevant organization.
We gleefully ignored the NAACP’s warning.
Translation? No one who is Black, brown, Asian, or white person should heed it either.
Such politically-motivated tactics are not just frivolous but can be economically damaging to the people they claim to protect.
As seemingly ridiculous as it is, this tactic is strategic.
Florida's liberal machine aims to chip away at Republican support among Black voters, especially for Gov. DeSantis.
Black women have been a surprising base of support.
In the 2018 gubernatorial race, Black mothers tipped the race in DeSantis’s favor.
Some 100,000 Black women unexpectedly chose him over the Black Democratic candidate, Andrew Gillum.
These moms were motivated to preserve and expand school choice in the Sunshine State.
Registering 18% of the roughly 650,000 Black women in the state, their support was astonishing compared to their support for another GOPer, U.S. Senate candidate Rick Scott (9%), or DeSantis’s performance among Black men (8%) and the GOP’s national average among Black women (7%).
This minority group made a major impact in an election that was decided by fewer than 40,000 votes.
In the 2022 midterm elections, Gov. DeSantis crushed his Democratic opponents through greater gains with minority voters.
He flipped the blue Miami-Dade County — the state’s largest county with 1.5 million Hispanics-red, demolishing the Democratic firewall.
DeSantis garnered over half of the Hispanic vote and registered modest gains with Black voters by garnering 18% of their vote.
This time pocketbook issues were top of mind for voters.
Minority voters expressed willingness to support leadership that would help their dollars to go further and release the strain on their budgets.
They also want to protect the economic policies that make Florida an attractive place to live and work.
As a top destination for refugees fleeing failed liberal policies, Florida ranks #1 for total net migration.
It boasts the third-largest population and the fourth-largest state economy in the U.S.
The Sunshine State consistently ranks among the best states for doing business because its tax policies and regulatory environment make it easier to start and grow businesses, attract great talent, and market to a massive consumer base than other states.
Florida is home to 3 million small businesses, with nearly half (45.1%) owned by women and one in five (19.2%) owned by minorities.
As one of just seven states without a personal income tax, Florida is a popular choice for pass-through enterprises like LLCs.
The bottom line matters for minority Floridians, especially during a time of high-living costs and high sustained inflation.
The NAACP’s travel ban, which joined a similar ban issued by a lesser-known LGBTQ group, is tone-deaf.
If adhered to, it would rob minority-owned businesses of a revenue boost during a major holiday travel weekend and would take food off the tables of the workers they employ.
On our trip, nearly every business we patronized from restaurants to retail stores to car services was Black- or Hispanic-owned.
The catamaran we rented along with a group of African music festival goers for a day out on the water was owned by a young immigrant man.
No one was concerned about their safety from Gov. DeSantis’s efforts to remove Marxist critical race theory materials from curricula or empower parents to oppose gender ideology being taught to third graders.
If anything, travelers felt the strong presence of Miami police patrolling the scenic Ocean Drive to prevent a repeat of spring break violence.
A constructive travel warning to Black travelers would raise their awareness of crime and violence, but that would mean acknowledging that the perpetrators would likely share their skin color.
And, that means there's no political payoff.
Instead, they would rather demonize a political opponent for clickbait and donations.
That the NAACP is holding a conference in Orlando in a few short weeks exposes their own hypocrisy.
My advice: Take their stunt with a grain of salt and enjoy all that Florida has to offer!
(A related article may be found here.)
Patrice Onwuka is a political commentator and director of the Center for Economic Opportunity at the Independent Women’s Forum. Patrice is also an adjunct senior fellow with the Philanthropy Roundtable and a Tony Blankley Fellow at The Steamboat Institute. Follow her on Twitter: @PatricePinkFile Read Patrice Lee Onwuka's Reports — More Here.
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