American Federation of Teachers union President Randi Weingarten attempted to educate Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) — but as it turned out, she was the one who was in need of a history lesson.
The online scuffle began with a comment from DeSantis about the founding of the United States and the fact that the prescription for the end of slavery was effectively written into the Constitution.
Referencing “The 1619 Project,” DeSantis said, “They want to teach our kids that the American Revolution was fought to protect slavery, and that’s false. We know why the American Revolution was fought. They wrote pamphlets, we saw them dump tea into the Boston Harbor. We saw them meet in Philadelphia, and we have the records of why they revolted against King George III.”
DeSantis went on to say that the American Revolution had caused people to “question” slavery as an institution, noting that never before had a nation written into its founding documents the concept that all men had been “created equal” in the eyes of both their Creator and the laws of men.
Emperor Desantis gives his absurdly false version of how he expects history to be taught: “It was the American Revolution that caused people to question slavery. No one had questioned it before we decided as Americans that we are endowed by our creator with unalienable rights.” pic.twitter.com/Nw8SMmGCUw
— Ron Filipkowski 🇺🇦 (@RonFilipkowski) September 22, 2022
Weingarten chimed in then, arguing that the 3/5 compromise — which limited the political power of slave states and was written with an eye toward encouraging slave states to end the practice entirely — was actually written to enshrine the practice into law.
“The American Revolution was about leaving Britain. If America’s founders questioned slavery there would not have been the heinous ‘3/5 compromise’ in the US Constitution, which was drafted and enacted AFTER the American Revolution. This is basic history …,” Weingarten claimed.
The American Revolution was about leaving Britain. If America’s founders questioned slavery there would not have been the heinous “3/5 compromise “ in the US Constitution, which was drafted and enacted AFTER the American Revolution. This is basic history… https://t.co/QkwBFF7CkX
— Randi Weingarten 🇺🇦🇺🇸💪🏿👩🎓 (@rweingarten) September 28, 2022
Critics swiftly descended on Weingarten, however, delivering a remedial course in American history via quote-tweet after the union president limited replies to her initial tweet.
“Rx This historical illiterate, @rweingarten, has no idea what she is talking about. The 3/5ths compromise happened because slavery was actively being questioned. The solution to slavery was baked into the constitution,” one user tweeted in response.
“Just to be clear, this woman who has a massive influence on American education doesn’t know ‘basic history’ well enough to know the 3/5ths compromise was proposed by northern delegates to keep southern states from bolstering the institution of slavery,” Mark Hemingway added.
“This lady is a moron,” came from Rod Dreher. “The reason for the compromise is that Northerners were opposed to slavery. Better hope she is not teaching your kids history.”
“If America’s leaders didn’t question the idea of slavery [w]ouldn’t it have just been a 5/5 agreement? This moron runs the teacher’s union,” Jim Hanson wondered.
“This is just beautiful. The head of one of the largest teachers unions in the country openly demonstrates that she has absolutely no grasp of basic American history — or she is purposefully lying,” Leonydus Johnson tweeted. “Either way, it is a perfect representation of the abysmal state of govt education.”
Michele Tafoya quoted freed-slave Frederick Douglass, who said of the Constitution, “Now, take the Constitution according to its plain reading, and I defy the presentation of a single pro-slavery clause in it. On the other hand it will be found to contain principles and purposes, entirely hostile to the existence of slavery.”
.@rweingarten “Now, take the Constitution according to its plain reading, and I defy the presentation of a single pro-slavery clause in it. On the other hand it will be found to contain principles and purposes, entirely hostile to the existence of slavery.”
Frederick Douglass https://t.co/nhdxaarrRU
— Michele Tafoya (@Michele_Tafoya) September 28, 2022