Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz received a quick online history lesson after he criticized the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) for issuing an official travel advisory for the state of Florida, signaling a concerning turn of events under the leadership of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
The NAACP unequivocally stated the Sunshine State has transformed into a place unwelcoming and even "hostile" to Black Americans because DeSantis is on "a seeming quest to silence African-American voices" constitutiing a "sustained, blatant, relentless and systemic attack on democracy and civil rights."
Soon afterward, Cruz called the travel advisory "bizzare" and "utterly dishonest."
He wrongly evoked the name of the late civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.:
"In the 1950s [and] 1960s, the NAACP did extraordinary good helping lead the civil rights movement. Today, Dr. King would be ashamed of how profoundly they've lost their way."
You can see Cruz's tweet below.
Despite Cruz's apparent expertise on Dr. King's history, Dr. King's daughter might know a bit more.
Bernice King responded:
"What my father would be deeply concerned about is the harmful, discriminatory legislation in Florida."
Cruz was swiftly called out by historian Kevin M. Kruse, who pointed out just how wrong the Texas Republican's observation really is.
"In 1965, Dr. King called for a national boycott of the state of Alabama, saying that Democratic Gov. George Wallace's policies constituted "a reign of terror" against Black Americans."
You can see Kruse's tweet below.
Kruse followed up with a link to a New York Times piece from 1965 that outlined Dr. King's demands at the time as well as another link to an editorial Kruse himself wrote about Dr. King's commitment to "talking honestly about equality."
You can see Kruse's posts below.
Cruz's statements have been harshly condemned.
A multitude of policies implemented by DeSantis serve as evidence for the advisory's grave assertions.
Most notably, the recently signed legislation that prohibits the use of public funds by colleges for diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts has drawn significant scrutiny.
This move not only undermines efforts to foster a more inclusive society but also sends a distressing message about the priorities of the state's leadership.
Furthermore, DeSantis previously enacted the Stop WOKE Act, which restricts discussions of race in workplaces and schools during mandatory training or instruction.
By curtailing these dialogues, Florida appears to be hindering progress in addressing systemic racial inequalities and impedes the necessary conversations for true understanding and growth.