The NAACP Just Had to Put Out a Travel Advisory - in 2017
By: Jael Jones
Missouri has brought about the triumphant return of Jim Crow laws. Even though I could swear that we saw the last of Jim in the 60’s, we were all fooled.With a recent passing of legislation making it difficult if not impossible to sue over employment or housing discrimination, the NAACP has backed a travel advisory for the state of Missouri. As shocking as this legislation may seem, it is nothing new to Missouri and has led the NAACP to say enough is enough. The NAACP “calls for African American travelers, visitors and Missourians to pay special attention and exercise extreme caution when traveling throughout the state." In other words go at your own risk. Do not expect your civil rights to protect you and move carefully. This is the first time since the NAACP was founded in 1909 that they have ever issued a travel advisory.
The state of Missouri passed the Senate Bill 43 that some would say is a new age of legal discrimination and race based harassment. It is noted in the advisory that this legislation would prevent individuals from protecting themselves in the case that there is unlawful harassment and discrimination placed against them.
Hilariously enough one of the primary sponsors of the bill, Sen. Gary Romine, is currently facing a lawsuit dealing with discrimination. This makes you question of whether or not passing this legislation is even acceptable. Although the bill will not affect his case in any way, it is a way to prevent him from facing any future lawsuits concerning discrimination in his business.
The passing of this bill is only one of many reasons why the NAACP felt the need to speak out. There have been several instances of outright discrimination in the state. Obvious cases of police brutality were seen on a public scale after the murder of Michael Brown. The black student population at The University of Missouri has spoken out numerous times against the discrimination they face on campus from a day to day basis. Recent statistics report that POC drivers are 75% more likely to be pulled over.
If this is not a recognizable trend , I don’t know what is. It is scary and frustrating, but this is our reality as people with brown skin. If no one will protect our civil rights then we must protect ourselves from the thieves out trying to collect them.