Republican Florida Rep. Byron Donalds pushed back Monday against the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) declaring Florida “hostile” to black Americans.
The NAACP issued a travel warning for black Americans on Saturday, claiming Florida “devalues and marginalizes” issues facing “communities of color” under Republican state Gov. Ron DeSantis’ leadership.
“When I read this, this is just really stupid. It doesn’t make any sense,” Donalds said on “Fox & Friends.”
“Look, I’ve lived in Florida since 1996 after I graduated high school. I went to college, got married, started a career, you know, lived normal life. Went to church, raised kids, coached sports … 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,” he continued.
Donalds argued Florida is doing a “significantly better job” than blue states in “helping black Americans succeed.” He added he feels there is no hostility toward him or any other black American in the state. (RELATED: NYT Columnist John McWhorter Says DeSantis ‘Did The Right Thing’ By Prohibiting AP African American History Course)
“This is so dumb. I don’t even know what we’re talking about, man,” he said. “The only hostility I feel is this inflation hitting my pocketbook, I’ll tell you that. Because the inflation hitting everybody, that is hostile. When the price of food is up, when the price of gas, which is still up, and the fact that fentanyl’s coming into every community in our country because of Joe Biden, maybe the NAACP should be focused on that. Because I know that’s hostile.”
The NAACP’s travel warning sprung from the Florida Department of Education’s decision to reject the AP African American Studies course that covered topics such as queer theory and contained elements of critical race theory (CRT). DeSantis also previously signed legislation called the “Stop W.O.K.E Act,” which intended to prohibit teachers from discussing race in way that could lead to “guilt, anguish or other psychological distress.”
U.S. District Judge Mark Walker blocked the law in November 2022, calling the legislation “positively dystopian.”