BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s Louisiana conference has requested a national travel advisory from the NAACP.
“Well, we want people to know that Louisiana is the sportsman’s paradise, but it may not be the people’s paradise,” said Mike McClanahan, President of NAACP Louisiana State Conference.
According to the Louisiana NAACP, this comes after Louisiana Republican legislators proposed bills allegedly targeting Black people, immigrants, LGBTQ+, minorities, and those who use their right to freedom of speech.
“That’s because of some of the poor legislation that we’ve seen come out of the legislation that we feel like sets this state back decades,” said Eugene Collins, President of NAACP Baton Rouge.
The Louisiana NAACP urges Gov. John Bel Edwards to veto these bills.
“We feel like there’s a good chance, a good opportunity that that he will. But until we see that actually move, we plan on keeping this advisory in place,” said Collins.
The investigation into the death of motorist Ronald Greene was paused, and the Louisiana NAACP said in a news release that the provided reason highlights the need for a travel advisory. The NAACP said the safety of Black people and members of the LGBTQ+ community is not guaranteed.
“Gives us the idea that they try to lock black people up and that doesn’t really fall in line with what we know that process should look like. And that’s rehabilitating folks to reenter society successfully.”
Ronald Haley Jr., Attorney and Member of the NAACP said some of these bills can potentially impact our economy.
“The one area that is always stood true for Louisiana has been tourism by creating barriers in being unloving and unwelcoming policies. It’s undoubtedly going to affect us,” said Haley.
The Social Justice Chair for the local chapter said part of the change starts with the community.
“Reach out to your legislators. Oftentimes we hear them say, well, is this person a chronic voter? Meaning, you know, have they voted in the last, you know, three, four election cycles,” said Taryn Barnson, Social Justice Chair of NAACP.
According to Collins, these policies impact everyone. The state chapter is seeking approval from its national board to bring awareness across the country.
“This isn’t a safe place and our legislative session this year just simply compounded on top of that,” said Collins.
Haley said voting districts contribute to a lot of inequality when it comes to passing legislation.
“This is a trend that’s not going to extend to just Louisiana, Florida, Mississippi, and Missouri. this is going to be a national trend where we have districts that don’t represent the true population of the state,” said Haley.
We reached out to the Governor’s Office and House Republican Caucus Chair, Blake Miquez, but we have yet to hear back.
The NAACP suggests traveling with extreme caution while traveling in and through Louisiana. This comes just weeks after the national branch of NAACP issued a travel ban to Florida.
“We’re seeing more and more cases. More and more laws that are being passed that are really keeping us down as a race, and more people are becoming aware of it,” said Toeni Hudson, Co-Chair of the Social Justice Committee for NAACP.
Visit the NAACP website to learn more about their initiatives.