NAACP issues travel advisory for Missouri

Derrick Johnson, interim president and CEO of the NAACP

But the St. Louis County branch of the NAACP  is against he travel advisory

The NAACP has issued a travel advisory for African Americans driving in or driving through Missouri because of a series of troubling incidents including the high rate of police stops of black motorists.

Derrick Johnson, NAACP’s interim president and CEO, said, “The numerous racist incidents and the statistics cited by the Missouri Attorney General in an advisory, namely the fact that African Americans in Missouri are 75 percent more likely to be stopped and searched by law enforcement officers than Caucasians, are unconscionable, and are simply unacceptable in a progressive society.”

The travel advisory was first issued by the Missouri NAACP before it was adopted by the national organization which is based in Baltimore.

But the decision has split the nation’s oldest civil rights organization with the St. Louis County  (Missouri) NAACP opposing the travel advisory.

Esther Haywood, president of the St. Louis County NAACP, said the travel advisory could end up hurting the workers in the state’s hospitality industry.

The NAACP travel advisory, which is effective through August 28, 2017, calls for African-American travelers, visitors and Missourians to pay special attention and exercise extreme caution when traveling throughout the state.

“We share the alarm and concern that black individuals enjoying the highways, roads and points of interest that they may not be safe,” Johnson said.

He added that legislation recently signed by Missouri Republican Gov. Eric R. Greitiens makes it more difficult for victims to prove they have suffered harassment or discrimination.

Missouri’s two black congressmen have not commented on the NAACP’s travel advisory. This is the first time the NAACP has issued a travel advisory for a state.

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