Jeff City, Morning Live
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri is number seven on a list of places Fodor’s Travel Guide says you shouldn’t visit in 2018.
It’s the only location on the list that’s in the United States of America. The guide praises Missouri for things like Kansas City barbecue and the Branson entertainment district, but it also describes the “looming danger” for visitors.
The list states that along with Missouri, the Galapagos Islands, the Taj Mahal, Mt. Everest, the Great Wall of China, Honduras, Cuba, Myanmar and Phang Nga Park, Thailand shouldn't be visited. Yet out of all of the places listed above, Missouri is one of two that Fodor's says should not be visited, for social treatment of its people.
In the final months of 2017, the NAACP released a travel advisory for the state of Missouri.
For Missouri’s NAACP president, Nimrod Chapel Jr., the disparities minorities see here are alarming. Over the past 10 years, the NAACP has been collecting statistical evidence to demonstrate that people are being disproportionately stopped based on what they look like. Chapel Jr. said passing the travel advisory was something that needed to be done to protect people’s civil rights and to "ensure that everybody has an opportunity to enjoy the virtue of being an American."
The NAACP’s travel advisory was released on August 28 and called for “African American travelers, visitors and Missourians to pay special attention and exercise extreme caution when traveling throughout the state given the series of questionable, race-based incidents occurring statewide recently, and noted therein.”
The advisory was a direct response to the passing of Senate Bill 43, which the NAACP said “hearkens back to the Jim Crow-era. The bill legalizes individual discrimination and harassment within the state of Missouri."
Chapel Jr. said this is unacceptable.
“You can’t let people come into your state and become victims, so the least we could do was tell people before they got here,” he said.
Chapel Jr. said it’s disheartening to think that something like this has to happen to get the attention of lawmakers, but even then he said only a few of the local officials have said anything, but much can’t be done because they’re in the minority party.
“It’s really sad, I don’t think that anybody ever was happy about putting a travel advisory on the state of Missouri to say that you had to be careful when you came here, but at this point I don’t see any effort being taken by the state as a whole to have it taken off," Chapel Jr. said.
He said the community needs to hold its local officials accountable for the social climate they have created.
“I think we need to hold our public officials in relationship with the community in which they serve,” began Chapel, Jr. He said it’s easy for people of color to tell the NAACP, other civil rights organizations or your faith community about what's happening, but Chapel, Jr. said, “ultimately the conversation has got to be had with the police officers, and the law enforcement folks where the issues begin.”
As for travel to Missouri, the Fodor’s Travel Guide hopes it and the other “no” places are “resolved with faith for 2019.” To see the full list of comments about the state, check out Fodor’s No List 2018.