Sunday, September 24, 2023
HomePoliticsHarris rejects DeSantis' offer to discuss Florida's black history curriculum

Harris rejects DeSantis’ offer to discuss Florida’s black history curriculum

Vice President Kamala Harris has declined an offer from Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis to discuss the state’s new African American history teaching standards.

Speaking at the African Methodist Episcopal Women’s Missionary Convention in Orlando, Harris stated that Florida’s plan to teach that enslaved individuals benefited from slavery was unacceptable. She dismissed DeSantis’ invitation for a roundtable debate as a politically motivated move and emphasized that there should be no debate on the fact that there were no redeeming qualities of slavery, according to the White House.

Governor DeSantis, who is also a 2024 presidential candidate, had invited Harris to a meeting in Tallahassee to discuss the African American history standards. He proposed that Dr. William Allen, a black scholar and former chair of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, join the discussion.

Additionally, DeSantis welcomed the presence of Randi Weingarten, the American Federation of Teachers President, or any other individual who shared Harris’ viewpoint on the standards.

The curriculum has faced criticism from both Republicans and Democrats, particularly regarding a section suggesting that “slaves developed skills which, in some instances, could be applied for their personal benefit.” Senator Tim Scott, a black man and 2024 Republican presidential nominee competitor against DeSantis, firmly expressed that there is no silver lining in slavery, as it caused immense suffering and devastation.

Prominent black Republicans such as Reps. Byron Donalds, John James, and Wesley Hunt have also criticized the curriculum. Furthermore, Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz, a prominent supporter of former President Donald Trump, took to social media to criticize DeSantis’ invitation to Harris, stating that it seemed desperate.

As the debate over the African American history standards in Florida continues, both sides remain steadfast in their positions, with Harris refusing to engage in a discussion she deems unnecessary and offensive.

Moriah Ballard
Moriah Ballard
Moriah Ballard joined the KPRC 2 digital team in the fall of 2021. Prior to becoming a digital content producer in Southeast Texas and a Houstonian, Moriah was an award-winning radio host in her hometown of Lorain, Ohio and previously worked as a producer/content creator in Cleveland. Her faith, family, and community are her top passions.


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