Published On: Thu, Aug 3rd, 2017

NAACP Issues Statewide Travel Advisory for Missouri

PHOTO: The travel advisory is the organization’s first-ever, on a state or national level. (photo via Flickr/Teemu008)

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) has made history, issuing the organization’s first-ever travel advisory.

The NAACP is warning African Americans traveling to or through Missouri to do so at their own risk. The organization cites “looming danger” stemming from a new state law that it says opens the door for legal discrimination.

The NAACP calls Senate Bill 43—which makes it harder for employees to prove that their class, race or gender contributed to unlawful discrimination—a “Jim Crow Bill.”

The advisory stops short of telling people to avoid travel to Missouri altogether. Rather, it promotes awareness and encourages people of color visiting the state to be prepared for anything.

“Individuals traveling in the state are advised to travel with extreme CAUTION. Race, gender and color based crimes have a long history in Missouri,” the advisory states.

“People should tell their relatives if they have to travel through the state, they need to be aware,” Missouri NAACP Conference President Rod Chapel Jr. told CNN. “They should have bail money, you never know.”

Citing the Missouri Attorney General, the advisory points out that African Americans in Missouri are 75 percent more likely to be stopped by police than Caucasians. It also details specific incidents in Missouri in which people of color were allegedly victimized.

Missouri’s NAACP Conference originally published the advisory in June. However, it was adopted nationally at the NAACP’s annual convention late last month.

READ MORE: California Bans Official Travel to Four More States

The advisory was initially supposed to remain in effect until Aug. 28., but with Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens having signed SB 43 into law, it likely isn’t going away anytime soon.

“We see this travel advisory remaining in effect for the foreseeable future,” Chapel Jr. told CNN.

According to Chapel, the advisory could be lifted if SB 43 is repealed and the state works to address other issues plaguing the African American community. 

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