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Will she accept? Gov. DeSantis issues direct challenge to Kamala Harris to 'set the record straight' about curriculum

Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) issued Vice President Kamala Harris a direct challenge on Monday over the narrative that she has perpetuated about Florida's African-American history curriculum.

What is the background?

Last month, Harris seized on Florida's new curriculum standards, claiming state officials want to "gaslight" students by teaching them "that enslaved people benefited from slavery."

The curriculum, of course, does not teach that.

Rather, one specific standard says teachers should examine "the various duties and trades performed by slaves (e.g., agricultural work, painting, carpentry, tailoring, domestic service, blacksmithing, transportation)." The added "benchmark clarification" explains that "instruction includes how slaves developed skills which, in some instances, could be applied for their personal benefit."

Harris' claims set off a firestorm against DeSantis, which has included being attacked by fellow Republicans who also criticized the curriculum.

What is DeSantis doing now?

On Monday, DeSantis invited Harris to Tallahassee to discuss the standards with prominent scholar Dr. William Allen, a former chairman of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights who helped craft the standards.

Allen is a descendant of slaves and has defended the standards vigorously.

"It's past time to set the record straight," DeSantis wrote in a letter. "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.

"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 here in Tallahassee," he continued. "I will ask Dr. William Allen — instrumental in the development of our impressive new standards — to join. We welcome you, of course, to bring Randi Weingarten or someone else who shares your view about the standards."

DeSantis said he is prepared to meet as early as Wednesday. Harris is actually speaking in Orlando on Tuesday, so meeting would not be logistically difficult. She is traveling to Wisconsin on Thursday.

Indeed, a short turnaround time is not difficult for Harris because, according to CNN, Harris' team "quickly arranged" the trip to Florida, where she launched her attack against DeSantis and the new curriculum.

TheBlaze reached out to a Harris representative for comment, but did not immediately receive a response.

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