Image Source: Twitter — @NAACP

The state of Missouri now has the dubious distinction of being the first and only target in the 108-year history of a NAACP of a  travel advisory.

The advisory was actually issued on June 7, 2017, by a regional branch, but was approved by the national organization last week.

Here is the advisory issued from the NAACP:

June 7, 2017 (Jefferson City, MO – Missouri NAACP State Conference Office) A travel advisory has been issued in the state of Missouri due to the sad passage of Sen. Gary Romine’s Jim Crow Bill — SB 43 — and recent events throughout Missouri. The advisory means each individual should pay special attention while in the state of Missouri and certainly if contemplating spending time in Missouri.

Unlike seasonal weather advisories, where no unnecessary travel on city streets or parking might be directed, the NAACP wants to make Missourians and our visitors aware of looming danger which could include the following by example of what has happened to some residents and visitors:

  • Tory Sanford who recently died in a jail cell but was never arrested after running out of gas when he traveled into the state accidentally.
  • Racist attacks on University of Missouri students while on the states’ campuses — as the University of Missouri System spoke in favor of Romine’s Jim Crow Bill.
  • Missouri’s legislature Representative Rick Bratton argued that homosexuals are not human beings according to his faith.
  • Black high school students in St. Louis have been attacked with hot glue while denigrated racially.
  • Two internationally born men gunned down outside in Kansas City after their killer thought them to be Muslim.
  • According to the Missouri Attorney General African Americans in Missouri are subjected to excessive traffic — 75 percent more likely to be stopped and searched based on skin color than Caucasians.
  • Public threats of shooting ‘Blacks’ that terrorized University of Missouri students and members of the public. Individuals traveling in the state are advised to travel with extreme CAUTION. Race, gender, and color based crimes have a long history in Missouri.

Missouri, home of Lloyd Gaines, Dredd Scott and the dubious distinction of the Missouri Compromise and one of the last states to lose its slaveholding past, may not be safe. The Missouri State Conference of the NAACP will follow Gov. Greitiens’ review of this Jim Crow Bill — SB 43 — and we will update the NAACP advisory for the state of Missouri if this measure is vetoed. SB 43 legalizes individual discrimination and harassment in Missouri and would prevent individuals from protecting themselves from discrimination, harassment and retaliation in Missouri.

Moreover, overzealous enforcement of routine traffic violations in Missouri against African Americans has resulted in an increasing trend that shows African Americans are 75 percent more likely to be stopped than Caucasians. These stops have resulted in increased traffic fines, senseless searches of vehicle and persons, and on occasion unnecessary violence.

The advisory is in effect until at least Aug. 28, 2017, starting today. The Missouri State Conference NAACP asked that you do the following: warn your families, co-workers and anyone visiting Missouri to beware of the safety concerns with travel in Missouri, notify members of your trade associations, social and civic organizations that they are traveling and living in Missouri at their own risk and subject to unnecessary search seizure and potential arrest, and  seek help on any existing claims for discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and whistle blowing ASAP before your legal rights are lost if Senate Bill 43 is not vetoed by Gov. Greitiens.

To file reports of harassment and discrimination and get help call 1-844-NAACP-HELP. Contact Gov. Greitiens at 573- 751-3222, @ericgreitiens and ask him to make Missouri safe for our families.

Mo Barnes

“Mo Betta”
Maurice “Mo” Barnes is a graduate of Morehouse College and Political Scientist based in Atlanta. Mo is also a Blues musician.