As RedState’s Kira Davis reported, earlier this week, the NAACP issued an unprecedented “travel warning” for the State of Missouri in response to the recent passage of a tort reform measure which raised the burden of proof in discrimination lawsuits. This followed the state chapter’s issuance of the warning back in June.
But a local chapter of the NAACP is now pushing back on the advisory. The St. Louis County chapter is taking issue with the warning, noting its potential negative impact on some of the very people it purports to protect:
Officials with the St. Louis County NAACP issued a statement Thursday pushing back against the travel advisory, saying the measure could hurt the region’s economy and harm African-Americans working in the hospitality industry.
The St. Louis County NAACP says it opposes the law and similar ones that it says are in place in 38 other states. But it says the travel advisory hurts African-American workers “who have played no role in this legislation.”
“We suggest that if the NAACP does not rescind their advisory immediately, then they should add to it the other 38 states, which all already have this standard for monitoring discrimination in place,” St. Louis County NAACP President Esther Haywood said in the statement.
The St. Louis County chapter aren’t the only ones expressing concern over the warning. The University of Missouri, which is also singled out in both the national and the state chapter’s advisory, has come up with some potential talking points to counter the accusations. An e-mail from Chancellor Alexander Cartwright to “Anyone who interacts with MU students” included the following suggestions:
POTENTIAL TALKING POINTS:· We hold true to our values of respect, responsibility, discovery and excellence. We have a deep respect for everyone on campus and the diversity that they bring to our campus.· Our diversity is our strength, and this includes every form of diversity – geographic, diversity of thought, sexual orientation, race, gender, ethnicity, religious preference, academic discipline, etc.· We want our students, faculty and staff here—together, we can change the world. Change never happens on its own.· We are here because we want to make a difference. We encourage prospective students, faculty and staff to join us in our efforts as we work to change the world.· We want to build Mizzou as a model for inclusion.· MU is working with community organizations outside the university that are interested in adopting our inclusion and excellence framework. We are becoming a national model of excellence for issues related to diversity and inclusion.· We recognize this is a national issue, and we been out front on this for the past year and a half. Mizzou continues to expand its reach.· Safety is our No. 1 priority. Recently, the campus was ranked in the top 10 for safety and safety resources available to faculty, staff and students. (We have the only law enforcement agency in the state that is accredited by two outside organizations.)
As the statement from the St. Louis County NAACP chapter rightly notes, Missouri’s Senate Bill 43 is hardly unique. So why single out Missouri? And will it have any appreciable impact on the influx of travelers expected to the state for the solar eclipse later this month?