Vice President Kamala Harris continued her attack on Florida’s new academic curriculum regarding U.S. Black history on Tuesday while rebuffing an attempt by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis to discuss their differences.
In a speech at the African Methodist Episcopal Church Quadrennial Convention in Orlando, Florida, Harris said, “Right here in Florida, they plan to teach students that enslaved people benefited from slavery.”
“They insult us in an attempt to gaslight us, in an attempt to divide and distract our nation with unnecessary debates, and now they attempt to legitimize these unnecessary debates with a proposal that most recently came in of a politically motivated roundtable,” Harris said.
DeSantis, a candidate for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, raised his national profile in his fight against wokeness, including critical race theory. State legislation passed under DeSantis bars instruction in schools that suggests anyone is privileged or oppressed based on their race or skin color.
Part of the new standards for middle school students is to teach “how slaves developed skills which, in some instances, could be applied for their personal benefit.”
Harris said in a trip to Florida last month that the new standards were pushing “propaganda” onto children. DeSantis responded by claiming Harris was crafting a fake narrative about the standards. He then wrote a letter Monday to Harris inviting her to Tallahassee, the state capital, to discuss the new standards.
“In Florida we are unafraid to have an open and honest dialogue about the issues,” DeSantis wrote to Harris. “And you clearly have no trouble ducking down to Florida on short notice. So given your grave concern (which, I must assume, is sincere) about what you think our standards say, I am officially inviting you back down to Florida to discuss our African American History standards.”
Harris declined the governor’s offer in her speech at the Orange County Convention Center.
“Well, I’m here in Florida and I will tell you, there is no roundtable, no lecture, no invitation we will accept to debate an undeniable fact: There were no redeeming qualities of slavery,” Harris said. “And as I said last week when I was again here in Florida, we will not stop calling out and fighting back against extremist so-called leaders who try to prevent our children from learning out true and full history.”
Newsmax has reached out to DeSantis for comment.