Florida Governor Ron DeSantis pushed back on a “hoax” during the second Republican presidential primary debate that was started by Vice President Kamala Harris several weeks ago and was pushed during the debate by a leftist debate moderator and Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC).
Harris promoted the smear campaign about Florida’s African-American history curriculum back in July, claiming that “in the state of Florida, they decided middle school students will be taught that enslaved people benefited from slavery.”
Harris seized on one sentence from the 216-page curriculum that noted that freed slaves at times used skills they learned and developed during slavery to help themselves later in their lives: “Instruction includes how slaves developed skills which, in some instances, could be applied for their personal benefit.”
The language in the Florida curriculum is virtually identical to the language that the College Board includes in its current curriculum for AP African American Studies, which is available in thousands of schools across the U.S.
Dr. William Allen, former chairman of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and Florida’s African American History Standards Workgroup member, blasted Harris, teachers unions, and anyone else promoting the allegations, saying that they are spreading “lies.”
During the debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, Univision’s Ilia Calderón brought up the issue, claiming that DeSantis “hurt” many people because of the curriculum and asked what he would say to those people.
“So first of all, that’s a hoax that was perpetrated by Kamala Harris,” DeSantis began. “We are not going to be doing that. Second of all, that was written by descendants of slaves. These are great black history scholars.”
While responding, Scott repeatedly interrupted, saying: “Take the line out.”
“We need to stop playing these games. Here’s the deal. Our country’s education system is in decline because it’s focused on indoctrination, denying parents’ rights,” DeSantis said. “Florida represents the revival of American education. We’re ranked number one in the nation in education by US News and World Report. My wife and I, we have a six-, five-, and three-year-old. This is personal to us.”
“We didn’t just talk about universal school choice, we enacted universal school choice,” DeSantis continued. “We didn’t just talk about Parents’ Bill of Rights, we enacted the Parents’ Bill of Rights, we eliminated critical race theory and we now have American civics and the Constitution in our schools in a really big way. Just like President Reagan asked for and his farewell address back in 1989. Florida is showing how it’s done. We’re standing with parents and our kids are benefiting.”
Calderón then asked Scott to weigh in on the issue.
“There is not there is not a redeeming quality in slavery,” Scott said, even though neither DeSantis nor the curriculum ever said that. “He and Kamala should have just taken the one sentence out. America has suffered because of slavery.”
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) September 28, 2023
Scott has previously touted Harris’ attacks against DeSantis, saying: “What slavery was really about was separating families, about mutilating humans, and even raping their wives. It was just devastating. So I would hope that every person in our country — and certainly running for president — would appreciate that.”
DeSantis responded directly to Scott at the time: “Part of the reason our country has struggled is because D.C. Republicans all too often accept false narratives, accept lies that are perpetrated by the Left. And to accept the lie that Kamala Harris has been perpetrating even when that has been debunked, that’s not the way you do it. The way you lead is to fight back against the lies, is to speak the truth. So I’m here defending my state of Florida against false accusations and against lies. And we’re going to continue to speak the truth.”
“Part of the reason our country has struggled is because D.C. Republicans all too often accept false narratives, accept lies that are perpetrated by the Left. And to accept the lie that Kamala Harris has been perpetrating even when that has been debunked, that's not the way you… pic.twitter.com/oDfCPIKkwR
— DeSantis War Room 🐊 (@DeSantisWarRoom) July 28, 2023