A CNN host confronted NAACP president Derrick Johnson on Monday over facts that contradict the NAACP's narrative that Florida is bad for black people.
Over the weekend, the NAACP issued a travel advisory warning against traveling to the Sunshine State. The advisory officially states:
Florida is openly hostile toward African Americans, people of color and LGBTQ+ individuals. Before traveling to Florida, please understand that the state of Florida devalues and marginalizes the contributions of, and the challenges faced by African Americans and other communities of color.
During an interview about the advisory, CNN host Sara Sidner presented compelling data points that suggest Florida isn't so bad for black people after all.
First, she cited a statement from the Florida Chamber of Commerce, which noted that Florida is "the number one spot in the United States for black-owned businesses" and No. 2 for Hispanic-owned and women-owned business, too.
"When you hear those numbers, what they are saying is, look, African-Americans and Hispanics are doing quite well here when it comes to running their own businesses and being able to make money here and being able to live decent lives," Sidner commented.
Johnson, however, refused to address the substance of the data, instead dismissing it as "propaganda language."
He attributed Florida's success to its geography as "an attractive place where people would like to go" — not Gov. Ron DeSantis' policies. He also predicted, without evidence, that Florida will soon experience a downturn because pro-Second Amendment policies "are not business attractive policies," but "regressive policies" that will "hit a dead end."
"You can spin whatever language you would like to have, the policies that he has put in place are harmful policies to far too many individuals," Johnson said.
Then Sidner hit Johnson with another key data point: By political standards, DeSantis won a significant portion of black voters in the 2022 gubernatorial election.
"In 2022, there was an exit poll in Florida that showed that 13% of exit polls, black voters liked DeSantis," she said. "So the black voters there voted for DeSantis, 13% of them. That's not a small number."
But once again, instead of interacting with Sidner's point, Johnson dismissed it altogether.
"I have never seen an accurate exit poll in 30 years, nor have you, nor have that network. And I'm surprised you would repeat an exit poll number. Exit polls are historically wrong and misleading," he responded.
Johnson, however, did not provide any evidence to back his claims.
Analysis from the Washington Free Beacon, on the other hand, found that "black Floridians enjoy lower unemployment, higher median incomes, and lower rates of both hate crimes and police killings than their counterparts in other states."
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