We’re not used to seeing travel advisories for locations within the U.S. or even from the NAACP for that matter, but the organization has taken a bold move in warning women, people of color, and members of the LGBTQ community not to travel to the state of Missouri as a result of the passing of Senate Bill 43, which they’ve labeled the “Jim Crow Bill.”
“Individuals traveling in the state are advised to travel with extreme CAUTION,” the advisory reads. “Race, gender and color based crimes have a long history in Missouri.”
According to TIME magazine, NAACP President Nimrod Chapel had met with lawmakers and testified in opposition to the bill. When the highly controversial law was passed anyway, he decided to take action.
The law, Glamour magazine explained, “has created a new series of obstacles for individuals who have been terminated from their jobs to successfully file discrimination lawsuits against their employers, making it nearly impossible for them to prove that their race or gender led to unlawful termination. The bill was sponsored by a state legislator whose business is being sued for racial discrimination, and it faced major public outcry before Missouri Governor Eric Greitens signed it into law.”
“The advisory means each individual should pay special attention while in the state of Missouri and certainly if contemplating spending time in Missouri. Unlike seasonal weather advisories, where no unnecessary travel on city streets or parking might be directed, the NAACP wants to make Missourians and our visitors aware of looming danger which could include the following by example of what has happened to some residents and visitors:
- Tory Sanford who recently died in a jail cell but was never arrested after running out of gas when he traveled into the state accidentally;
- Racist attacks on University of Missouri students while on the states’
- campuses – as the University of Missouri System spoke in favor of Romine’s Jim Crow Bill;
- Missouri’s legislature Representative Rick Bratton argued that homosexuals are not human beings according to his faith;
- Black high school students in St. Louis have been attacked with hot glue while denigrated racially;
- Two internationally born men gunned down outside in Kansas City after their killer thought them to be Muslim;
- According to the Missouri Attorney General African Americans in Missouri are subjected to excessive traffic – 75% more likely to be stopped and searched based on skin color than Caucasians;
- Public threats of shooting ‘Blacks’ that terrorized University of Missouri students and members of the public.”
The advisory is in effect until at least August 28, 2017, the date SB 43 goes into effect, the issuance notes, and the organization is asking everyone to warn those they know about the threat posed to them by traveling to Missouri.
“Just like if we were riding along a road and we saw a bridge or we saw a road that’s been partially washed out … it’s up to the person to decide how they want to negotiate that thoroughfare,” Chapel told TIME. “And I think that that’s the same way that people ought to think about Missouri in this regard.”