It took the sensible leaders of the St. Louis County NAACP to do something the media were afraid to do: call foul on the national NAACP’s silly and self-important Missouri “travel advisory.”
“The NAACP County branch is very well aware of the legislation called out by the Missouri branch and the national NAACP in its advisory against traveling to Missouri,” said John Gaskin III of the St. Louis County NAACP. Gaskin was referring to a bill aimed at preventing false claims of discrimination in the workplace. “The legislation was heatedly debated by the state legislature and ultimately passed and signed into law by the Governor.”
“While we may not approve of the legislation, as it changes the standard by which employment discrimination cases are judged, the standard is already in place in 38 other states and is the standard used by the federal government to determine EEOC and ADA discrimination charges,” added St. Louis County NAACP President Esther Haywood.
Haywood continued, “We suggest that if the NAACP does not rescind their advisory immediately, then they should add to it the other 38 states, which all already have this standard for monitoring discrimination in place.” As Haywood noted, “The people hurt by the travel advisory are the members of our NAACP community who work across our state in hospitality industry jobs and who have played no role in this legislation.”
For all the talk of “danger” that black visitors face, no one in the media or the NAACP has raised the issue that the Sentinel has, namely that Missouri is, in fact, the most dangerous state in which to be an African American. Missouri is the perennial leader in black homicide deaths per capita.
Meanwhile, ignoring the carnage around him, Kansas City NAACP branch president, Rev. Rodney Williams, endorsed the travel advisory. Said he, “We have to stand up against this blatant rejection of equal protection under the law in the state of Missouri.”
The media are no less self-deluding. As testament, the Columbia Daily Herald reprinted in full the Kansas City Star editorial comparing contemporary Missouri to Jim Crow Mississippi, Alabama having been spared only because it does not begin with a “M.”