Vice President Kamala Harris turned down an invitation from Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to debate the state’s history curriculum following her assertion that the state was glossing over the atrocities of slavery.
While addressing the 20th Quadrennial Convention in Orlando, Florida, at the Women’s Missionary Society of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, Harris rejected DeSantis’ offer to clarify the state’s education on Florida’s history.
Harris stated in her speech on Tuesday, “They try to give credibility to these pointless debates by proposing what they’re calling a politically motivated roundtable discussion.” She added, “Well, I’m here in Florida, and I want to make clear there’s no roundtable or lecture or invitation we’ll agree to in order to discuss a truth that cannot be denied. Slavery had no redeeming qualities whatsoever.”
DeSantis had extended an invitation to Harris to talk about Florida’s updated educational curriculum, particularly after the vice president expressed concerns that Florida schools might minimize the adverse effects of slavery.
Part of the new educational content on Black history includes a discussion on “how slaves developed skills that sometimes could be used for personal gain,” and this has become a focal point of disagreement among critics.
In a letter on Monday, DeSantis, who is seeking the nomination for the 2024 presidential election from his party, praised Florida as the “top state in the country for education” and emphasized that he was breaking records in investments for students, teachers, and schools.
DeSantis wrote, “We are dedicated to teaching truth, not partisan viewpoints,” highlighting the school choice program. He continued, “We have excised hateful Marxist theories such as ‘Critical Race Theory’ from our classrooms.
We have removed ‘Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives from school administration and recruitment processes. We are concentrating on essential education like reading, writing, arithmetic, science, civics, and history.”
He also criticized Washington, D.C. politicians for choosing to “defame our state and its people.” He asserted that in recent weeks, the Biden administration had repeatedly “denigrated” Florida and misled Americans about its education system.
In response to Fox News Digital on Tuesday, DeSantis said, “[Harris] came to Florida to assail us, and she’s attempting to target me. But her real attack is against the hardworking individuals who have put significant effort into this. And that’s simply wrong. It’s wrong to perpetuate lies and to allow false stories to persist.”