(FLORIDA) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has sent a letter inviting Vice President Kamala Harris to discuss his state’s new Black history standards.
In a letter obtained by ABC News, DeSantis invited Harris to discuss the new standards with him and Dr. William Allen, one of the architects of the new history curriculum that requires teaching middle school students that Black people got some personal benefits from skills learned while they were enslaved.
“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,” DeSantis wrote in the letter. “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.”
The Florida Board of Education recently approved the controversial new Black history standards, which included “benchmark clarifications” such as one for grades six through eight that “instruction includes how slaves developed skills which, in some instances, could be applied for their personal benefit.”
In the letter, the governor stood by the state’s new education standards and lambasted the Biden-Harris administration for tearing into the education guidelines.
“Over the past several weeks, the Biden Administration has repeatedly disparaged our state and misinformed Americans about our education system. 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,” the letter reads.
DeSantis’ invite comes after Harris blasted the new standards during her recent visit to the state, saying that the guidelines are “not only misleading, it’s false, and it is pushing propaganda.”
Other elected officials have also come out against the new curriculum, including Republican Rep. Byron Donalds and presidential candidate Sen. Tim Scott.
On Thursday night, Scott, one of DeSantis’ biggest rivals in the 2024 GOP presidential primary and the only Black Republican running for president spoke out on the new history standards in Florida.
“There is no silver lining in slavery,” he told a reporter, saying that “anything you can learn” while enslaved could also have been learned in freedom.
“Slavery was really about separating families, about mutilating humans and even raping their wives. It was just devastating,” Scott said.
Harris will be in Orlando, Florida, on Tuesday where she’ll give remarks of the 20th Women’s Missionary Society of the African Methodist Episcopal Church Quadrennial Convention.
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