Vice President Kamala Harris said in a new interview that divisive extremists were trying to require an “unnecessary debate” on slavery regarding Florida’s Black history curriculum, demanding they “stop!”
“One of the architects of that curriculum, if you will, said that your position is a kind of ideological posturing. What’s your response to that?” ABC’s Linsey Davis asked the vice president, who has spoken out sharply against Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, R.
Harris said it was a matter of whether one chooses to “speak fact and truth or not.”
“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. 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,” she continued.
ABC’s “The View” previewed the clip of Harris, which is set to air on Monday evening.
The Florida Board of Education recently approved a new curriculum for African American history, with a section on how “slaves developed skills which, in some instances, could be applied for their personal benefit,” which has generated a firestorm among Democrats and liberal media, and even some other Republican presidential candidates trying to leapfrog DeSantis in the GOP pecking order.
“They decided middle-school students will be taught that enslaved people benefited from slavery. They insult us in an attempt to gaslight us, and we will not stand for it,” Harris said during a recent speech in Florida.
The former chairman of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and Florida’s African American History Standards Workgroup member, Dr. William Allen, recently told ABC News that Harris completely mischaracterized the curriculum with a “categorically false” assessment.
However, ABC News aired only a short part of the interview, where he defended the curriculum.
“It is the case that Africans proved resourceful, resilient and adaptive, and were able to develop skills and aptitudes which served to their benefit both while enslaved and after enslavement,” he said.
“It was never said that slavery was beneficial to Africans,” he continued, according to footage of the interview posted by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ press secretary Jeremy Redfern. “What was said, and anyone who reads this will see this with clarity, it is the case that Africans proved resourceful, resilient and adaptive and were able to develop skills and aptitudes which served to their benefit, both while enslaved and after enslavement.”
In an interview with Fox News Digital, Allen said the media pushing the “benefit” narrative was pursuing an agenda. He and other proponents have said the curriculum in no way sugarcoats the horrors of slavery.
“When you go through all the media, you see two lines of thought. One line presents the text and gives a fairly analytical appraisal of the situation while reporting the facts that there are protests. The other line of thought, and that’s largely present in the commentariat, ignores the text, ignores the grammar and pursues an agenda,” Allen said last week.