Photo edit of Kamala Harris. Credit: Alexander J. Williams III/Popacta.
Photo edit of Kamala Harris. Credit: Alexander J. Williams III/Popacta.

Vice President Kamala Harris has ignited a storm of criticism following her controversial statement regarding Florida’s new Black history curriculum. Speaking at the Ritz Theatre and Museum in Jacksonville, the Vice President accused Florida of replacing “history with lies.” She specifically cited that the state’s middle school students are being taught that enslaved individuals reaped benefits from slavery.

Critics who have reviewed the curriculum beg to differ, terming Harris’s accusations as misleading. They extol the newly approved curriculum as commendable, noting its extensive scope. One component of the curriculum indicates that slaves developed certain skills which, under some circumstances, they could use for their personal advantage. Critics emphasize that this is not an insinuation of slavery as a benefit, but an effort to present historical facts with accuracy.

Critics argue that Harris misrepresented the curriculum, which includes comprehensive standards on teaching Black history. They state that Harris’s claims are a “sick” political strategy to gaslight voters, as the curriculum only mentioned that slaves developed skills for their personal benefit.

The Biden administration has a history of exaggerating right-wing legislation, and this was evident when Florida Governor Ron DeSantis tried to remove certain explicit or politically charged books from school libraries, citing their unsuitability for children. However, the situation was blown out of proportion, with some critics accusing DeSantis of wanting to ban all books, drawing comparisons to fascist ideologies.

This kind of political exaggeration is not new, as it was also witnessed during the Trump era. Democrats labeled Trump as a fascist, a Nazi, a racist, and a sexist, often concurrently. They vehemently opposed Trump’s border wall, considering it a racist initiative. Additionally, efforts to protect children from gender-altering surgeries were deemed evil by some Democrats. Many policies, despite being supported by a significant portion of the country, were painted by the modern Democrat party as emblematic of far-right leadership.

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