Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday dismissed the NAACP’s formal travel advisory that accused Florida of being “openly hostile towards African Americans, people of color and LGBTQ+ individuals,” and said recent tourist travel data shows Florida has never been more popular for all travelers.
“As Governor DeSantis announced last week, Florida is seeing record-breaking tourism,” DeSantis press secretary Jeremy Redfern told Fox News Digital in reaction to NAACP’s travel advisory. “This is nothing more than a stunt.”
Redfern noted that DeSantis just last month celebrating Florida getting 37.9 million tourist visits in the first three months of this year, a state record for a single quarter.
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“In Florida, we are combating negative national economic headwinds by promoting policies that support Florida businesses and families and attract record numbers of tourists every day,” DeSantis said at the time.
When asked specifically about the NAACP’s charge that Florida’s leaders are “hostile” to minorities, Redfern replied, “Here is my response.” He then linked to one of his own Twitter posts which shows that, according to NAACP Board of Directors Chair Leon Russell’s own profile on the social media site, he resides in Tampa.
“Florida for me but not for thee,” Redfern wrote in a tweet accompanying the screenshots.
VISIT Florida CEO Dana Young added in an interview with Fox News Digital that Florida is “one of the safest places in the country” and said it has been ranked as one of the states with the most Black-owned businesses.
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“Tourism is our number one industry, and we are diverse and welcoming to everyone. We don’t discriminate on any basis. We welcome everyone to our state,” Young said. “Many of our destinations in the state have huge Pride festivals, and, you know, I think the diversity of our state is one of the reasons that people enjoy coming.”
House Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Fla., also criticized the NAACP’s move in an interview on “Fox & Friends” Monday morning.
“I don’t even know what the NAACP is talking about. This is silly and it’s dumb. It’s political. It makes no sense. We should be focused on making sure people actually have the opportunity to achieve, which Florida is actually doing and thriving in, way better than other states – let’s say New York or California or Washington state,” said Donalds. “We’re doing a significantly better job helping Black Americans succeed. And it’s not just about me, it’s about all the millions of black people that live in our state.”
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Bryan Griffin, a DeSantis staffer who recently left the executive office to be press secretary of the governor’s political operation, responded to the NAACP by calling for a “travel advisory” against the New York Times, Washington Post, MSNBC, CNN and Politico while accusing them of being “openly hostile to the truth.”
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“Fake media narrative -> activist group stunt -> media coverage of the stunt at 100% intensity and 0% investigative curiosity,” he wrote on Twitter.