The White House has doubled down on the widely scrutinized “lie” that Florida’s new history curriculum is attempting to re-write the history of slavery in the U.S. and how it’s taught to students despite pushback from one of its Black creators.
During Monday’s daily White House press briefing, press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre went off on the new curriculum, echoing Vice President Kamala Harris’ heavily panned comments during a speech in Jacksonville, Florida last week claiming it was going to be used to teach students “that enslaved people benefited from slavery.”
“Let’s not forget what we have seen these past several months as we witness extreme officials in Florida and across the country lie about American history. The most recent example, shamefully, shamefully promoting a lie that enslaved people actually benefited from slavery,” Jean-Pierre said during her opening remarks.
“It’s inaccurate, insulting, it’s hurtful, and prevents an honest account, an honest account of our nation’s history,” she added. “The Biden-Harris administration will continue to speak out against hateful attempts to rewrite our history and strongly oppose any actions that threaten to divide us and take our country backwards.”
The new curriculum, which was partially developed by Black scholar Dr. William B. Allen, actually states, “Instruction includes how slaves developed skills which, in some instances, could be applied for their personal benefit. This lead to countless critics accusing Harris of “brazenly lying,” and “misleading” the American people following her speech.
“This is a brazen lie. It’s an astonishing lie. It’s an evil lie. It is so untrue — so deliberately and cynically misleading — that, in a sensible political culture, Harris would be obligated to issue an apology,” one critic said.
Allen slammed Harris’ criticism as “categorically false,” telling ABC News in an interview that “it was never said [in the curriculum] that slavery was beneficial to Africans.”
“The only criticism I’ve encountered so far [on the new curriculum] is a single one that was articulated by the vice president, and which was an error,” he said.
Other critics of Harris called her claims “a brazen lie.”
Republican presidential candidate and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis ripped Harris ahead of her Friday speech, accusing her of being “obsessed” with Florida, and described the Biden administration of trying to indoctrinate students.
“Florida stands in their way, and we will continue to expose their agenda and their lies,” DeSantis said in a statement on social media.