The NAACP has issued a national travel advisory to people of color planning to visit Missouri because of discrimination and racist attacks, the Kansas City Star is reporting. It’s the first time the civil rights organization has ever issued a warning of this type, the Star notes.
Missouri was reportedly chosen as the first state due to new legislation that makes discrimination lawsuits more difficult to win, as well as a significant history of racial disparities in traffic enforcement; a recent attorney general’s report shows that, since the year 2000, black drivers continue to be 75 percent more likely to be pulled over while driving in Missouri than white people are.
The NAACP also cited the death of Tory Sanders, a young black man from Tennessee who took a wrong turn while traveling and ended up dying in jail, despite the fact that he hadn’t been accused of a crime.
“How do you come to Missouri, run out of gas and find yourself dead in a jail cell when you haven’t broken any laws?” Rod Chapel, the president of the Missouri NAACP, reportedly asked the Star.
“You have violations of civil rights that are happening to people. They’re being pulled over because of their skin color, they’re being beaten up or killed,” Chapel said. “We are hearing complaints at a rate we haven’t heard before.”
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