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August 3, 2023

DeSantis vs. Harris vs. Slavery

The Florida governor and Republican presidential candidate calls VP Kamala Harris’s bluff.

A little over a week ago, Kamala Harris did what Democrats have been squawking about for the last several years — she spread disinformation. Of course, in Harris’s case it was a lie regarding the state of Florida’s new black history curriculum.

Harris’s false claim was that the Sunshine State is going “to replace history with lies” and that “Middle school students in Florida [are] to be told that enslaved people benefited from slavery.” That claim is as bogus as a $3 bill, as we and many others have noted.

Florida’s popular Republican governor, Ron DeSantis, was quick to defend his state’s education board against Harris’s spurious claim. “Democrats like Kamala Harris,” he said, “have to lie about Florida’s educational standards to cover for their agenda of indoctrinating students and pushing sexual topics onto children.” Bingo.

However, rather than take her medicine and go home, Harris responded by going full Joseph Goebbels, as she doubled down on her blatant lie. “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 huffed. “I don’t think this is up to any ideological debate to say that people who were enslaved did not benefit from slavery, period.”

Well, DeSantis wasn’t done schooling Harris either, as he sent the vice president an invitation for a debate:

I am prepared to meet as early as Wednesday of this week, but of course want to be deferential to your busy schedule should you already have a trip to the southern border planned for that day. Please let me know as soon as possible. What an example we could set for the nation — a serious conversation on the substance of an important issue! I hope you’re feeling up to it.

(Note: DeSantis accepted California Governor Gavin Newsom’s debate challenge — date and setting TBD.)

In his letter to Harris, DeSantis further charged, “The Biden Administration has repeatedly disparaged our state and misinformed Americans about our education system.” He continued, “Our state pushed forward nation-leading standalone African American History standards — one of the only states in the nation to require this level of learning about such an important subject. One would think the White House would applaud such boldness in teaching the unique and important story of African American History.”

Harris responded by rejecting the invite and then once again promulgating her debunked lie. “I’m here in Florida,” she announced, “and I will tell you there is no roundtable, no lecture, no invitation we will accept to debate an undeniable fact. There were no redeeming qualities of slavery.”

Once again, no one is teaching that there are redeeming qualities to slavery — not Florida, not DeSantis, no one. But this is the lie that Harris and the Biden administration are invested in promulgating in an underhanded effort to promote their own political agenda.

Lies and gaslighting are apparently all the Biden administration knows. Like the cowardly schoolyard bully who breathes out boastful threats but is unwilling to actually face the music. Biden and company spread lies about their political opponents and policy accomplishments but refuse to show up on an equal playing field to defend their spurious claims. In fact, they suggest that deigning to defend their accusations against their opponents would be morally reprehensible and a platforming of “misinformation.”

Obviously this whole charade is an effort by the Biden administration to falsely paint DeSantis and Republicans in general as slavery apologists. Nothing could be further from the truth, of course, as the Republican Party was founded on the platform of opposition to slavery. Republicans never were and never have been in favor of slavery. The party that does have a long history of being both proponents of and apologists for slavery is the party that Harris just happens to be a member of.

Finally, a parting tongue-in-cheek question: Why is it that Harris is so committed to devaluing the lived experience of slaves?

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