The NAACP has issued a travel warning for black Americans, the first ever in the history of the organization. The travel warning isn’t for hostile nations like Iran or North Korea. The travel warning is for…Missouri.
The Kanas City Star reports the travel warning was issued by the Missouri chapter of the civil rights group back in June after the governor signed a bill designed to make it harder to sue for discrimination. The governor claims the bill is simply much needed tort reform and uses the very same standards used by U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The NAACP has labeled the bill “The new Jim Crow bill”.
The national organization recently decided to pick up the ban and distribute it to their member groups across the country.
The NAACP claims that the warning is necessary due to the so-called “Jim Crow law” and a disturbing trend of police profiling and brutality against black Americans over the last few years.
Those incidents included racial slurs against black students at the University of Missouri and the death earlier this year of 28-year-old Tory Sanders, a black man from Tennessee who took a wrong turn while traveling and died in a southeast Missouri jail even though he hadn’t been accused of a crime.
“How do you come to Missouri, run out of gas and find yourself dead in a jail cell when you haven’t broken any laws?” asked Rod Chapel, the president of the Missouri NAACP.
“You have violations of civil rights that are happening to people. They’re being pulled over because of their skin color, they’re being beaten up or killed,” Chapel said. “We are hearing complaints at a rate we haven’t heard before.”
The NAACP’s advisory also cites the most recent attorney general’s report showing black drivers in Missouri were 75 percent more likely to be pulled over than whites. Those reports have been showing the disparity since the attorney general began releasing the data in 2000.
Racism and racial disparities in police interactions should never be ignored, but the group’s move to issue an unprecedented travel advisory seems more like political vengeance against Missouri’s tort reform than actual fear. The NAACP has been in existence for 108 years…through the era of KKK dominance; Brown v. Board of Education; race riots in major cities like Los Angeles and Detroit; literal Jim Crow laws. The NAACP has never in it’s history issued a travel warning…even in times when black people were very publicly and without question being lynched, hosed, set on fire, beaten, and little black girls needed federal troops to take them safely to school.
For 108 years the NAACP has waded through the most violent actions of the state against black Americans and never uttered a word about traveling.