Vice-President Kamala Harris said she will not be debating slavery with Florida governor Ron DeSantis after he invited her to visit the state for a discussion about Florida’s new Black history standards.
“Well, I’m here in Florida 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,” Harris said while speaking at the Women’s Missionary Society of the African Methodist Episcopal Church Quadrennial Convention in Orlando, Florida, according to The Hill.
Harris’ remarks came one day after DeSantis invited her to Florida to discuss the state’s new Black history curriculum.
“In Florida we are unafraid to have an open and honest dialogue about the issues. And you clearly have no trouble ducking down to Florida on short notice,” DeSantis wrote to Harris. “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. We will be happy to host you in Tallahassee.”
The letter comes amid pushback over controversial standards the Florida State Board of Education approved last month to teach African American history in public schools.
The middle school curriculum require that instruction “includes how slaves developed skills which, in some instances, could be applied for their personal benefit.”
During a visit to Florida last month, Harris slammed the new standards as an attempt by “extremist so-called leaders” to “gaslight” us as they aim to “replace history with lies.”