Travel Advisory Leads To Rift Between Local NAACP Chapters

Brett Blume (@brettblumekmox)

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Two local branches of the NAACP are at odds over that travel advisory issued for minorities traveling through Missouri.

The county branch issued what it said would be its only comment on the matter Thursday.

“The NAACP County branch is very well aware of the legislation (SB 43) called out by the Missouri branch and the national NAACP in its advisory against traveling to Missouri,” said John Gaskin III with the county chapter, who also sits on the NAACP national board. “The legislation was heatedly debated by the state legislature and ultimately passed and signed into law by the Governor (Eric Greitens).”

He goes on to say that while the county branch may not approve of SB 43, it does set a standard for judging employment discrimination cases that is already in place in 38 other states.

Therefore, Gaskin suggested, the travel advisory should either be rescinded or expanded to include those 38 states.

“The notion that Missouri should acquiesce to anything that is detrimental for people of color, simply because there are other states that have done it, borders on ignorance to me,” St. Louis City NAACP president Adolphus Pruitt told KMOX News.

He likens the advisory to one of those roadside electronic signs letting drivers know there are road repairs ahead, so they can make their own informed decisions.

“We’re saying that, hey, there may be some issues in Missouri that can be impactful for you, and you need to be aware of them,” according to Pruitt. “Let’s just go back to Ferguson and all of the other studies that show the impact of the stops on black people out in those areas. Why wouldn’t we want people who are not from this area to know that?”

The advisory was issued during this week’s NAACP national convention in Baltimore after members determined that SB 43 will weaken Missouri’s anti-discrimination laws.

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