Kamala Harris Rallies Americans To Overcome GOP’s Campaign Of Educational Suppression


The Florida state Board of Education has approved rules that quickly drew widespread derision for directing the teaching to middle school students that some slaves developed skills from which they could personally benefit. A statement from a pair of experts on the state team trying to defend the new educational standards cited purported examples who historical records indicate were never actually slaves or didn’t learn their trades while in captivity.

Sharing stark criticism of DeSantis, Vice President Kamala Harris spoke on Friday in Jacksonville, Florida, which is in the northeastern part of the state and where residents recently replaced the then-Republican mayor of the largest city in the country to be under GOP control with a Democrat, Donna Deegan. Deegan joined Harris during her trip.

Harris compared attempts to effectively gloss over the harsh realities of the history of slavery with those who have denied the basic realities of the Holocaust and who have turned away from the history of the internment camps established by the U.S. for Japanese residents. She also spoke about some of the potentially serious global impacts from the new educational standards if the standing of the U.S. as a defender of foundational human rights is threatened by the controversial moves.

“One of the things about who we are as Americans is we can walk in those rooms with the authority earned, for the most part — except recently, sometimes — earned authority to walk in those rooms talking about what it means to uphold democracies, the importance of rule of law, human rights,” she told the crowd. “And when we walk in those rooms, we do it proud of the fact that we have been held up and held out as a role model. Well, the thing about being a role model is this: When you’re a role model, people watch what you do to see if it matches what you say.”

And on a basic level, the vice president also argued that children’s readiness to effectively participate in the world could be seriously upended.

“So, it is not only misleading; it is false,” Harris told listeners of the state’s new standards. “And it is pushing propaganda. People who walk around and want to be praised as leaders, who want to be talked about as American leaders, pushing propaganda on our children.” She also connected what’s been so controversially seen in Florida to national movements to restrict access to materials such as the books featuring LGBTQ+ and other marginalized characters that have been the subjects of challenges. A group connected to such challenges, Moms for Liberty, recently held a national conference where multiple Republicans running for president spoke, symbolizing the enduring appeal of that approach to education.