UPDATED: 8:00 a.m. ET., June 7
When the NAACP issued its travel advisory stating that “Florida has become hostile to Black Americans,” white conservatives lost their mind, calling it a joke and a political stunt. Just, two weeks later a Black mother of four, Ajike “AJ” Owens was shot and killed in Florida for confronting a racist white woman who started a feud with her 9-year-old son.
On May 20, the NAACP issued a travel advisory warning for the state of Florida, calling it “openly hostile toward African Americans, people of color and LGBTQ+ individuals and warning that “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.”
NAACP President & CEO Derrick Johnson also chimed in.
“Under the leadership of Governor Desantis, the state of Florida has become hostile to Black Americans and in direct conflict with the democratic ideals that our union was founded upon,” said Johnson. “He should know that democracy will prevail because its defenders are prepared to stand up and fight. We’re not backing down, and we encourage our allies to join us in the battle for the soul of our nation.”
Governor Ron DeSantis immediately pushed back with racist undertones about gun violence in inner cities and called the advisory “a total farce.”
“If you look at cities like Baltimore and Chicago, you got kids more likely to get shot than to receive a first-class education, yet I don’t see the NAACP batting an eye about all the outrage and the carnage that’s happening in those areas. So this is a political stunt,” said DeSantis.
But Ajike “AJ” Owens wasn’t shot and killed in Baltimore or Chicago. She was killed in the state of Florida by a racist white woman who called her children racist slurs before killing their mother.
“On Friday, June 2, Owens’ children were playing in a field next to an Ocala apartment complex when an unidentified 58-year-old white woman reportedly began yelling at them to get off her land and calling them racial slurs,” a news release circulated by Ben Crump Law, PLLC reads. “The children left but accidentally left an iPad behind, which the woman took. When one of the children went to her residence to retrieve it, she threw it, hitting the boy and cracking the screen. After AJ’s children informed her of what happened, she walked across the street with her kids to speak with the woman. She knocked on the door, and at that point, the woman allegedly shot through the door, hitting AJ, who later died from her injuries.”
The white woman responsible for Owens’ death has been identified on social media as 58-year-old Susan Lorincz.
According to AP, Lorincz was arrested June 6 and charged with manslaughter with a firearm, culpable negligence, battery and two counts of assault.
When the NAACP said Florida was “openly hostile toward African Americans” they were referring to tragic moments like the death of Ajike Owens. Their warning was no coincidence. And for those who say it was a travel warning and Owens was from Florida, miss me with Black folks, including the ones who live there.
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