Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) is defending a new school curriculum that will teach Middle school students in Florida that slavery gave Black people a “personal benefit” because they “developed skills.”
The Florida Board of Education approved new standards for African American history on Wednesday that states “instruction includes how slaves developed skills which, in some instances, could be applied for their personal benefit.”
Acts of violence “against and by” African Americans are also mentioned in lesson plans included in the new changes.
These changes come after the Florida legislature passed DeSantis’ “Stop-WOKE” law, described as an act that creates protection for students and workers, allowing them to not feel “discrimination based on race, color, sex or national origin.”
During a campaign stop in Utah on Friday, DeSantis was asked about the backlash surrounding how slavery will be taught in Florida schools.
“I think that they’re probably going to show some of the folks that eventually parlayed being a blacksmith into doing things later in life. But the reality is, all of that is rooted in whatever is factual,’ DeSantis responded before calling them “the most robust standards in African American history” in the country.
WATCH >> Ron DeSantis defends new curriculum that will teach children how slaves *benefited* from slavery.
"They're probably going to show some of the folks that eventually parlayed, you know, being a blacksmith into, into doing things later in life." pic.twitter.com/Ls1wyk3tr4
— Ammar Moussa (@ammarmufasa) July 22, 2023
Derrick Johnson, president and CEO of the NAACP, condemned the new curriculum, saying in a statement: “Our children deserve nothing less than truth, justice, and the equity our ancestors shed blood, sweat, and tears for.”
“Today’s actions by the Florida state government are an attempt to bring our country back to a 19th century America where Black life was not valued, nor our rights protected. It is imperative that we understand that the horrors of slavery and Jim Crow were a violation of human rights and represent the darkest period in American history. We refuse to go back,” he said.
Fellow GOP 2024 hopeful and former Rep. WILL HURD (R-Texas), who is Black, also slammed the new curriculum: “Unfortunately, it has to be said — slavery wasn’t a jobs program that taught beneficial skills. It was literally dehumanizing and subjugated people as property because they lacked any rights or freedoms.”
“Come on — adults know what slavery really involved,” Vice President Kamala Harris said in a fiery speech denouncing the new Florida school standards. “It involved rape. It involved torture. It involved taking a baby from their mother. It involved some of the worst examples of depriving people of humanity in our world. How is it that anyone could suggest that in the midst of these atrocities, that there was any benefit to being subjected to this level of dehumanization?”
To suggest that enslaved people somehow benefited from slavery is not only misleading, it is false. This is revisionist history. pic.twitter.com/2j0sPWP5O8
— Vice President Kamala Harris (@VP) July 21, 2023
Hey Republicans, did this slave personally benefit from slavery like Ron DeSantis and others want you to believe?
It’s f*cking gross how Republicans try to whitewash and erase our history. pic.twitter.com/XePvaT24bz
— Harry Sisson (@harryjsisson) July 22, 2023