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Not So Sunny in Florida

Screen Shot 2013-07-22 at 9.07.43 AMAt rallies this weekend, protestors around the country called for a boycott of Florida following the wave of anger over George Zimmerman’s acquittal.

Rev. Jesse Jackson labeled Florida an “apartheid state” and Stevie Wonder says he’s won’t perform in the state until Stand Your Ground gun laws are repealed. Martin Luther King III has encouraged consumers to stop buying Florida orange juice and Dick Gregory demanded vacationers to skip Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

A moveon.org boycott Florida petition has collected 12,000 signatures. It reads: “Your state is not a safe place to vacation if your citizens are able to kill anyone they deem suspicious.” Click here to see and sign.

An effective boycott would cripple the state. MSN notes that tourism is Florida’s number 1 industry, bringing in nearly $72 billion and providing jobs for more than 1 million state residents or, more than 5 percent of the total population. The $1.1 billion citrus business supports about 76,000 jobs. 540705_280672645403909_246766155_n

But not everyone is falling in line behind a boycott. The National Association of Black Journalists decided not to cancel its annual convention in Orlando, July 31 – August 4. The group’s president challenged members to come to Florida and join in the discussion of the Zimmerman verdict and its ramifications. And at this writing, not all members of the Congressional Black Caucus agree on a boycott.

Like all economic boycotts, avoiding Florida and its products would hurt people who can least afford it. Blacks and Latinos make up 40 percent of the population and many own struggling small businesses. Still, making it hurt may be what it takes to repeal the state’s Stand Your Ground law.

To learn more, join the discussion:

Boycott Florida Tourism on Facebook

Boycott Florida on Facebook 

Boycott Florida’s economy on Facebook

Why We Must Boycott for Trayvon

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