NAACP Warns That Women, People of Color, LGBT Community ‘May Not Be Safe’ Traveling to Missouri.
The organization cites stats that even driving can prove hazardous.
by Charlie May
(Salon) – On Wednesday national delegates from the NAACP voted to issue a “travel advisory” in Missouri, out of concern that civil rights will not be respected in the state.
According to the Springfield News-Leader, women, people of color, LGBT people and those with disabilities have been told to “travel with extreme caution” because “they may not be safe.”
“Our ongoing issues of racial profiling, discrimination, harassment and excess violence towards people of color have been further exacerbated by the passage and signing of [Senate Bill] 43,” Cheryl Clay, Springfield’s NAACP president, told the News-Leader in a statement.
Clay was referencing the bill signed on June 30 by Gov. Eric Greitens which “modifies the Missouri Human Rights Act to make it more difficult to prove discrimination in housing and the workplace in courts of law,” the News-Leader reported. Clay said that the legislation “rolls back civil rights protections for employees and whistleblowers.”
The NAACP has also accused the state of the following:
“Racial and ethnic disparities in Education, Health, Economic Empowerment, and Criminal Justice.”
“A long history” of “violent and dehumanizing” racial discrimination and harassment.
Racially charged incidents at the University of Missouri in Columbia in recent years.
The shooting of two men from India last year, one of whom later died, because a white patron in a bar thought they were Iranian Muslims — an incident which took place in Olathe, Kansas, not Missouri.
Comments made in May by a lawmaker on the House floor asserting a “distinction between homosexuality and just being a human being.”
The group has also criticized the state for law enforcement abuse, citing a study released on May 31 by Attorney General Josh Hawley’s office. The data concluded that African-American drivers were 75 percent more likely to be pulled over than whites in 2016.
Last weekend President Donald Trump made incendiary comments in a speech to law enforcement officers in which he said that laws had been “stacked against” the police. Trump also advocated for rougher use of force, telling officers “don’t be too nice” to suspects they hold in custody.
“We as a city need to recognize that we have to be able to attract and keep quality officers,” Clay said in a statement, according to News-Leader. “Not all the communities have the desire or the will to do the right thing for people in their community.”
“Thus, this is why Missouri has earned the travel advisory for the whole state.”