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People of color, minorities and members of the LGBTQ community are being warned against traveling to Missouri in response to an increase in racial and minority attacks.
Back in June 2016, the Missouri chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), issued an advisory to travelers following the passing of Senate Bill 43. The significance of Senate Bill 43—which the NAACP refers to as the “Jim Crow Bill”—makes it nearly impossible for discrimination lawsuits to succeed in court, according to Refinery 29.
“This does not follow the morals of Missouri,” Conference President Rod Chapel Jr. told CNN in response to the bill. “I hate to see Missouri get dragged down deep past the notion of treating people with dignity.”
With the new legislation and an uptick of racial-driven attacks—namely against women, people of color and LGBTQ members—the NAACP Missouri chapter felt it necessary to release a travel warning. The warning aims to alert minorities visiting the state that they may face discrimination, unfair arrests or attacks based on the color of their skin, gender or sexual orientation.
For the black community in particular, Missouri poses a significant risk. Of the several racist incidents reported across the state in recent months, an annual report from the Missouri Attorney General, Josh Hawley, found that black drivers are 75 percent more likely to be pulled over by police and run into issues with local law enforcement.
“Individuals traveling in the state are advised to travel with extreme CAUTION. Race, gender, and color based crimes have a long history in Missouri.” reads the travel advisory.
The travel notice will remain in effect until the foreseeable future.