Following her speech in Jacksonville, Florida, Vice President Kamala Harris came under criticism for her comments about the state's recent changes to its history curriculum. Her remarks prompted a wide range of reactions, from severe censure to complete denial of the claims she made.
The Vice President took a strong stand on the issue during her speech. She lambasted the changes made by the Florida Department of Education to their history curriculum, which she argued framed slavery in a new, and controversial, light.
According to Fox News, the crux of her criticism centered on the notion that the new curriculum suggested that slaves in America "benefited from slavery."
The controversy arises from an understanding of what the new curriculum actually states.
The curriculum suggests that "slaves developed skills which, in some instances, could be applied for their personal benefit." This phrasing has led to an uproar of criticisms, with Harris being accused of "brazenly lying" and "misleading" the American people about the nature of the new educational standards.
In her speech, Harris said, "Just yesterday in the state of Florida 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." Many critics have been quick to counter these claims, suggesting Harris is making false statements about the curriculum.
Among the critics, National Review writer Charles Cooke took to Twitter to voice his disapproval. He stated that, after a thorough review of the new curriculum, he found Harris's statements to be blatantly false.
Charles Cooke stated:
"I read through FL’s new curriculum. It is difficult to convey the astonishing extent to which Kamala Harris is lying about it."
Cooke went further, detailing every mention of slavery, slaves, abolitionism, civil rights, and African Americans in the curriculum. His analysis concluded that the curriculum does not 'gaslight' people or whitewash the history of slavery. He insisted that Harris was propagating a "brazen lie," one he considered "astonishing" and "evil."
Many others took to social media to express similar sentiments. One user wrote, "This is, of course, a lie," in reference to Harris's comments, linking a video of her speech. Prominent figures including Fox News contributor Ben Domenech and the Republican National Committee accused the Vice President of "brazenly lying," or referred to her comments as a "complete lie."
Fox News chief political analyst Brit Hume joined the chorus of critics. He accused the left of trying to inflate the issue of slavery beyond what it has been in decades. He claimed that they were compelled to lie to achieve this objective. His sentiments were echoed by the Republican Party of Florida, which took a clear stance, proclaiming, "Education over Indoctrination."
Reactions were not limited to just political figures and parties. A Twitter user posed the question, "Is she lying or just stupid?" showcasing the divisive nature of the issue among the public. Similarly, Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy expressed his discontent by stating:
"Kamala Harris makes the most powerful case I’ll see in my lifetime against race & gender quotas in government. If only she knew it."
The debate over the new curriculum extended to other states as well. Georgia's Lieutenant Governor, Burt Jones, expressed support for Florida's position.
He refuted the Vice President's comments, stating, "The Vice President is flat out lying to the American people. The indoctrination of our children in schools must stop."
Jones then highlighted his state's similar stance on education policies. His state is actively working to "empower parents and teachers and promote curriculum that unites us, not divides us."
The tension surrounding the curriculum changes was intensified by the involvement of prominent political figures. Republican presidential candidate and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis came forward to defend his state's education policies. He accused Vice President Harris of being "obsessed" with Florida and claimed that the Biden administration was trying to indoctrinate students.
In a defiant tone, DeSantis proclaimed, "Florida stands in their way, and we will continue to expose their agenda and their lies," in a statement on social media.
Vice President Harris's office has yet to respond to the criticisms and accusations made against her.
To summarize the contentious points:
- Vice President Harris has faced a wave of criticism following her speech in Florida.
- The controversy centers around changes to Florida's history curriculum, specifically the framing of slavery.
- Critics accuse Harris of lying about the curriculum's content and intentions.
- Figures like Charles Cooke, Ben Domenech, and Brit Hume have openly contested Harris's comments.
- Political figures, including Burt Jones and Ron DeSantis, have voiced support for the new curriculum and criticized Harris.
Given the heated debate, the question arises: What is your take on this issue? Are you in agreement with Vice President Harris's stance or do you side with her critics?
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