Allegations have been made against Vice President Kamala Harris, suggesting she is propagating a false narrative about Florida’s education curriculum related to African-American history. These accusations arose after Harris asserted that Florida was attempting to replace historical truths with falsehoods, particularly implying that the state was teaching students that slavery was beneficial for those enslaved.
Speaking at the Ritz Theatre and Museum in Jacksonville, Harris remarked, “They are keen to exchange historical truths with untruths,” and added, “Florida’s middle school pupils are being taught that enslaved individuals profited from their servitude.”
However, detractors have swiftly responded, accusing Harris of distorting the recent education standards approved by Florida’s Education Department.
Kali Fontanilla, the founder of Exodus Institute and former teacher in California, said, “This seems like a distasteful political tactic from Vice President Harris. She knows her supporters are unlikely to delve into the details of Florida’s curriculum, which actually has comprehensive standards for teaching African-American history.”
Fontanilla continued, “Having gone through them, I must say the standards are quite commendable. It appears she is using one aspect and twisting it to manipulate her audience. This might be evident to those who examine it, but those who don’t will easily believe her narrative, which is difficult to counter.”
The updated social studies curriculum includes, “Instruction incorporates the understanding of how slaves gained abilities that sometimes could be used to their own advantage.”
Fontanilla commented on the interpretation of the word ‘benefit’, stating, “It’s not suggesting slavery was beneficial. It merely conveys historical facts, which certain groups are attempting to rewrite.”
Scott Jennings, a conservative political commentator for CNN, dubbed Harris’ assertions as “fictitious” during a panel discussion.
He remarked, “It’s astonishing that Vice President Harris can take a piece of misinformation off social media and turn it into a major issue. It’s a completely conjured controversy. I’ve reviewed the standards, their analysis, and every context where the terms ‘slavery’ or ‘slave’ were used. I’ve even gone through the statements by African-American scholars who penned the standards – it wasn’t Governor Ron DeSantis.”
Jennings continued, “All stakeholders agree that this is a trumped-up issue, yet look at how readily Harris jumped on it. The fact that a manufactured matter is her highlight speaks volumes about the situation.”
Rebecca Nathanson, a chapter chair for Moms for Liberty, criticized Harris for “spreading deceptive untruths” in her discourse about Florida’s social studies standards.
She stated, “I’m extremely satisfied. I think Vice President Harris is continually demonstrating her lack of awareness and her proclivity to spread manipulative lies to provoke resentment.”
Nathanson also emphasized the recent passage of the legislation HB 7, which has expanded the scope and depth of teaching African-American history and the atrocities of slavery in Florida.
She continued, “Anyone suggesting that our state is not committed to teaching the truths of slavery and African-American history is blatantly lying.”
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis took to Twitter to rebut Harris’ claims, stating, “Democrats like Kamala Harris feel the need to falsify facts about Florida’s educational standards to veil their agenda of inculcating students with controversial topics. Florida is a thorn in their side, and we’ll keep highlighting their deceptive practices and untruths.”