The ongoing clash between Vice President Kamala Harris and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis over the state’s new Black history curriculum has escalated into a fiery debate, capturing the nation’s attention. Here’s the full story.
The New Educational Standards
The disagreement centers around the recently approved educational standards that aim to shed light on enslaved people’s historical experiences, sparking a polarizing debate between the former prosecutor and the GOP presidential hopeful.
The African Methodist Episcopal 20th Women’s Missionary Society Quadrennial Convention event witnessed Harris’s impassioned assertion.
We Will Accept to Debate an Undeniable Fact
She said, “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.”
The curriculum approved by the Florida Board of Education has introduced standards that recognize the fact that enslaved individuals acquired skills that they later used to their benefit.
Harris has vehemently criticized these standards, labeling them as “propaganda” designed to rewrite history with falsehoods and divide the country.
She Swiftly Entered the Culture War Fray
In late July, Harris swiftly entered the culture war fray, delivering a speech in Florida just 24 hours after the new standards were approved.
The Counter Attack
Her remarks ignited a back-and-forth between the two prominent figures, with DeSantis countering Harris’s claims and inviting her to dialogue in Tallahassee.
Are You Kidding Me?
“This is unnecessary to debate whether enslaved people benefited from slavery. Are you kidding me? Are we supposed to debate that?” Harris said in Jacksonville.
An Opportunity for DeSantis
DeSantis, who is seeking the Republican nomination for the presidency, sees this confrontation as an opportunity to generate momentum on the campaign trail.
Harris’s vocal opposition to the standards has positioned her as a prime target for DeSantis, who aims to leverage this clash to his advantage.
He Invited Harris Again
DeSantis further escalated the situation by penning a letter to Harris, inviting her to Tallahassee for a discussion on the Black history standards.
He accused her of attempting to score “cheap political points” and challenged her to engage in a genuine and open dialogue on the issue.
DeSantis wrote, “In Florida, we are unafraid to have an open and honest dialogue about issues. 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.”
Social Media Users Expressed Their Thoughts
Several social media users expressed their thoughts on the incident.
Redeeming Qualities to Slavery Is Ridiculous
One Twitter user wrote, “Claiming there are redeeming qualities to slavery is a ridiculous attempt at revising history. Redemption was achieved only when the slave gained freedom.”
“Would Love to Hear What They Came up With”
Another User wrote, “Wait, am I missing something? Didn’t DeSantis ask Kamala Harris to discuss the standards? Sounds very productive – An agreed-upon message to our kids. Would love to hear what they came up with.”
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Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / lev radin. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.