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Vice President Kamala Harris suggested in an interview on Monday that a top black academic behind Florida’s African American history curriculum was lying about that history.
The segment came after Dr. William Allen, former chairman of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and Florida’s African American History Standards Workgroup member, slammed Harris last week over her “lies” about the curriculum after she seized on one sentence from the 216-page outline to make her false claims.
ABC News reporter Linsey Davis gave a favorable framing of Allen’s remarks, saying that he only suggested Harris’ position was “ideological posturing.”
“What’s your response to that?” Davis asked.
Harris responded by suggesting that Allen was not telling the truth.
“Well, I think that this is just a matter of whether one chooses to speak fact and truth or not and it’s pretty much that simple,” Harris said. “I don’t think that this is subject to any ideological debate to say that people who were enslaved did not benefit from slavery, period.”
“And I’ll say this also because it almost seems ridiculous to have to say what I just said, that enslaved people do not benefit from slavery,” she continued. “There are so-called leaders, extremists, who are attempting to require in our nation an unnecessary debate with the intention, I believe, to try and divide us as Americans. Stop. Stop.”
EXCLUSIVE: VP Harris on controversial Black history standards approved by Florida's board of education: “I don't think that this is subject to any ideological debate to say that people who were enslaved did not benefit from slavery, period."
— ABC News Live (@ABCNewsLive) July 31, 2023
Allen responded to Harris’ claims by saying that it was “obviously part of a larger effort driven by an agenda.”
“The reason I call the vice president’s statements categorically false is because it is obvious to anyone of basic literacy that the mere grammar of the sentence in the curriculum standards to which she referred refutes her charge,” he told Fox News.