Advisory warns Black people entering the state that they should expect to have their civil rights infringed upon. “They’re legalizing discrimination in the state of Missouri,” says attorney Nimrod Chapel Jr., president of the NAACP in Missouri.
He says a bill recently signed into law by Republican Gov. Eric Greitens is so dangerous that he has a name for it. “The Jim Crow bill,” he says, “because in the eyes of the NAACP that’s what it was breathing life into.”
Currently, you can file a discrimination claim in the state of Missouri if things like race, religion and gender are a “contributing” factor to discrimination. But later this month, alleged victims of discrimination would have to prove it is the “motivating” factor — and Chapel says that’s extremely hard to do. “You would think that the best evidence would be, like, a memo. ‘We discriminated against so-and-so because of who they are.’ Nobody writes memos, or when they do it so rare, and then getting that kind of evidence can be very, very difficult,” he says.
Greitens calls the legislation common sense reform, and says the “motivating standard” is currently used by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Meanwhile, the NAACP says it will continue to raise awareness through its travel advisory.
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