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The NAACP has issued a stark warning to Black people traveling to the state of Missouri. It is the first time the Civil Rights organization has crafted a travel advisory in this fashion, which is in response to a new law that would make racial discrimination lawsuits difficult to enact in the state.

The advisory was made public on Wednesday (August 2) and urged caution to Black travelers and all Missouri residents to be mindful of law enforcement while moving about in the state. The advisory came from the office of interim president and CEO Derrick Johnson, who also addressed Missouri Gov. Eric Grietens in the note.

From the NAACP:

“The NAACP is a membership-based advocacy organization that has worked for generations to protect the hard-fought freedoms of all American citizens—freedoms which are guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution—and one of the most basic of those freedoms is the ability to freely travel from state-to-state without fear of threat, violence or harm,” said Derrick Johnson, interim president and CEO. “The numerous racist incidents, and the statistics cited by the Missouri Attorney General in the advisory, namely the fact that African Americans in Missouri are 75 percent more likely to be stopped and searched by law enforcement officers than Caucasians, are unconscionable, and are simply unacceptable in a progressive society.

“We share the alarm and concern that black individuals enjoying the highways, roads and points of interest there may not be safe, and the national office will also be closely monitoring the progress of Governor Greitien’s review of Bill SB 43,” Johnson adds.

Senate Bill 43, written by Sen. Gary Romine, was compared to Jim Crow practices by Johnson in the advisory.

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