(CNN)The NAACP is sending a powerful message to people of color traveling through Missouri: Go at your own risk.
The organization is circulating a travel advisory after the state passed a law that Missouri’s NAACP conference says allows for legal discrimination. The warning cites several discriminatory incidents in Missouri, included as examples of “looming danger” from the state.
The NAACP claims this is the first travel advisory ever issued from the organization, at the state or national level. The Missouri conference published the advisory in June, and it had been recognized in the NAACP’s annual conference last week.
Greitens and other supporters of the bill have said it puts Missouri’s standards for lawsuits in line with other states.
But that’s not how the NAACP sees it. The Missouri NAACP State Conference called the legislation a “Jim Crow Bill.”
“This does not follow the morals of Missouri,” Conference President Rod Chapel Jr. told CNN. “I hate to see Missouri get dragged down deep past the notion of treating people with dignity.”
Chapel said he met with Greitens about the Senate bill many times. After the bill passed, he said they had a “fair and frank discussion” about what the legislation would do. At a meeting, Chapel said he attracted faith leaders to speak with the governor about morality and theology.
“Ultimately, none of that worked,” Chapel said.
Neither the governor’s office nor the Missouri Division of Tourism responded to multiple requests for comment.
What does it mean?
The advisory doesn’t tell people to not go to Missouri. Instead, the NAACP wants minority travelers to know about what it says are risks.
“People should tell their relatives if they have to travel through the state, they need to be aware,” Chapel said. “They should have bail money, you never know.”
In the advisory, the NAACP urges individuals to “warn your families, co-workers and anyone visiting Missouri to beware of the safety concerns with travel in Missouri.” These concerns could include unnecessary search and seizures and arrest that is potential.
What will it take for the advisory to be lifted?
After SB43 passed through the Legislature, the first travel advisory was supposed to continue until August 28, when the bill would potentially go into effect.
That changed when Greitens signed it into law.
“We see this travel advisory remaining in effect for the foreseeable future,” Chapel said.
He wishes to see several changes in the country prior to the advisory is lifted, starting with the repeal of the law that prompted the advisory in the first place.
Chapel also said there must be a plan in place on how the state is going to address people of color being stopped by police at a disproportionate rate. He wants to see a change in Missouri prosecutors handle hate crimes.
“We need to have some basic ground rules for how human beings treat each other,” Chapel said.