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Kamala Harris doubles down on Florida curriculum attacks, but her past remarks expose the emptiness of her outrage
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Kamala Harris doubles down on Florida curriculum attacks, but her past remarks expose the emptiness of her outrage

Vice President Kamala Harris doubled down Tuesday on her accusation that Florida wants to teach students that American chattel slavery benefited the enslaved.

But her latest remarks only served to highlight the selective nature of her outrage.

What did Harris say?

On Monday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) invited Harris to meet with him and scholar Dr. William Allen to discuss the African-American history curriculum standards.

Despite already having a scheduled trip to Florida, Harris refused to meet. Instead, she once again bashed Florida and the curriculum, further propagating the narrative that her critics say is false.

"Right here in Florida, they plan to teach students that enslaved people benefited from slavery. They insult us in an attempt to gaslight us, in an attempt to divide and distract our nation with unnecessary debates, and now they attempt to legitimize these unnecessary debates with a proposal that most recently came in of a politically motivated roundtable," Harris said at an event in Orlando.

"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," she added.

Where's the double standard?

The problem with Harris' outrage is that she is trying to have her cake and eat it, too.

Rewind to January when Florida was facing criticism for rejecting the College Board's African-American Studies course. At the time, Harris blasted Florida's leaders as "extremists" for their decision.

"Every student in our nation should be able to learn about the culture, contributions, and experiences of all Americans — including Black Americans — who shaped our history," Harris said in a statement. "Unfortunately, in Florida, extremist so-called leaders ban books, block history classes, and prevent teachers from freely discussing who they are and who they love. Anyone who bans teaching American history has no right to shape America's future."

But, upon closer examination, what exactly did that AP course include in its curriculum standards?

In its unit on Slavery, Labor, and American law, the course suggests that students learn the following:

In addition to agricultural work, enslaved people learned specialized trades and worked as painters, carpenters, tailors, musicians, and healers in the North and South. Once free, American Americans used these skills to provide for themselves and others.

That's right: The AP course that Florida rejected, resulting in outrage from Harris, taught the same idea that Harris is now on a crusade against. In fact, the course called the statement "essential knowledge."

That leaves one question: Where was Harris' outrage then?

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