Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) invited Vice President Harris to Florida amid their ongoing feud over African American history standards in the state.
“In Florida we are unafraid to have an open and honest dialogue about the issues,” DeSantis wrote in the letter. “And you clearly have no trouble ducking down to Florida on short notice. So given your grave concern (which, I must assume, is sincere) about what you think our standards say, I am officially inviting you back down to Florida to discuss our African American History standards.”
DeSantis accused the Biden-Harris administration spreading misinformation about the new standards to Americans in his letter, saying D.C. politicians chose “to malign our state and its residents.” He said that he could meet with Harris as soon as Wednesday, adding that he hopes she is “feeling up to it.”
“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,” he wrote. “One would think the White House would applaud such boldness in teaching the unique and important story of African American History.”
“But you have instead attempted to score cheap political points and label Florida parents ‘extremists,’” he continued. “It’s past time to set the record straight.”
Florida’s Board of Education approved controversial new rules for teaching Black history in the state earlier this month, prompting immediate pushback from critics, including Harris, who say the new standards are “a big step backward.” The new guidelines require lessons on race to be taught in an “objective” manner that does not seek to “indoctrinate or persuade students to a particular point of view.”
In a trip to Florida earlier this month, Harris said the state was “pushing propaganda” onto children over the new standards.
“They dare to push propaganda to our children,” Harris said in Jacksonville. “Adults know what slavery really involved. It involved rape. It involved torture. It involved taking a baby from their mother.”
DeSantis has pushed back on these comments, accusing Harris of creating a “fake narrative” with her remarks. Harris doubled down on her criticism, saying Monday that it was “ridiculous” to have to say slavery had no benefits.
“I think that this is just a matter of whether one chooses to speak fact and truth or not, and its pretty much that simple,” Harris said in an interview with ABC News’s Linsey Davis. “I don’t think this is up to any ideological debate to say that people who were enslaved did not benefit from slavery, period.”
The Hill has reached out to the White House for comment.
Source: The Hill