04 Aug 2017 St. Louis NAACP Follows Project 21’s Lead Opposing Missouri “Travel Advisory” Pushed by National, State Groups
St. Louis, MO / Washington, D.C. – Local members of the Project 21 black leadership network are commending the St. Louis County NAACP for coming out against a “travel advisory” that was issued toward the state of Missouri by the group’s state chapter and recognized by its national leadership. Hours after Project 21 criticized the advisory that suggested minority travelers in the Show Me State were at risk of “looming danger,” the county affiliate issued a statement calling on the NAACP to “rescind their advisory immediately.”
The NAACP’s advisory states, in part: “Individuals traveling in the state are advised to travel with extreme CAUTION. Race, gender and color based [sic] crimes have a long history in Missouri.” It specifically cites a new law bringing Missouri anti-discrimination protections into alignment with laws in 38 other states. The advisory also alleges law enforcement overreach.
In yesterday’s statement, the St. Louis County NAACP cited the potential ill effects of the advisory on the state’s hospitality industry. While opposing the new law, Ester Haywood, the chapter’s president, said, “[w]e suggest that if the NAACP does not rescind their advisory immediately, then they should add it to the other 38 states” with similar provisions.
Project 21 Co-Chairman Stacy Washington and Project 21 member Christopher Arps, who both live near St. Louis and took issue with the NAACP advisory, are praising the group’s St. Louis chapter for being a voice of reason and dissent. Washington and Arps considered the travel advisory an ill-considered publicity stunt that ignored pressing community issues such as the high murder rate in St. Louis.
“The St. Louis NAACP is wise to take a stand on behalf of all people in the great state of Missouri. We at Project 21 agree that discouraging travel will negatively impact the Show Me State’s business environment,” said Washington, a syndicated talk radio host on the American Family Radio and Urban Family Talk networks and U.S. Air Force veteran. “We look forward to new NAACP initiatives in the areas of public safety, job creation and educational freedom. Let’s come together to achieve better things for our communities.”
“I applaud the St. Louis County NAACP for recommending a revocation of the state NAACP’s ill-advised Missouri ‘travel advisory,'” said Arps, a principal with Red Tail Strategies and co-founder of the Move-On-Up.org black social network. “Issuing advisories like this that could negatively impact our state’s hospitality industry to protest unrelated legislation with which they disagree is bad policy that only ends up hurting the very people they want to represent.”
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