Ex-DNC chair Donna Brazile has criticized Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a GOP presidential candidate, for his defense of the state’s controversial new education guidelines on slavery.
During a discussion on ABC News on Sunday Brazile questioned DeSantis’s stance, which instructs teachers to educate students on “how slaves developed skills which, in some instances, could be applied for their personal benefit.”
She criticized DeSantis for suggesting that people benefited from slavery. She pointed out that as a descendant of slaves, she and her community did not benefit from such a horrific institution.
Republican commentator Sarah Isgur hit back at Brazile, suggesting that the national AP standards on slavery “had nearly the identical language,” stressing that criticism of DeSantis’ stance “ has been a political attack.”
Ron DeSantis Slavery Controversy
DeSantis’ critics have referred to a sentence in the outline in Florida’s new “anti-woke” K-12 social studies curriculum.
The line says that freed slaves used skills learned and developed in slavery to help themselves later in their lives: “Instruction includes how slaves developed skills which, in some instances, could be applied for their personal benefit.”
The College Board, whose AP college prep classes are available across the country, included similar claims in its latest framework for African American Studies.
However, Ron DeSantis continues to face crossparty criticism for the new language, including from fellow GOP Presidential candidate Senator Tim Scott (R-SC).
Trump Is Outpacing DeSantis
However, Isgur, who served as a DOJ spokesperson under Trump, suggested that the Ron DeSantis team had not responded to the attacks efficiently, claiming that “once again, he’s getting mired down in this fight.”
She also indicated that the GOP could get behind Trump rather than DeSantis because they believe the former has a higher likelihood of beating Joe Biden in a Presidential election.
“There’s one number that I’m focused on from now until Iowa, and that’s Republican primary voters,” she told the program, adding: “Who do you think is best or most likely to beat Joe Biden in a general election? As long as Donald Trump is winning that number, nothing else matters.”
Brazile expressed no surprise at DeSantis having to cut a third of his campaign staff last week, characterizing the Florida Governor as “asleep at the switch” and questioning his ability to “capture the imagination” of the Republican base.
Indeed DeSantis, who once seemed a formidable challenger to Republican front-runner Donald Trump, has seen a decline in the polls. His campaign recently underwent a reorganization, resulting in the layoff of 38 staff members.
Generra Peck, DeSantis’s campaign manager, explained that the campaign had undertaken a thorough review and aggressive steps to streamline operations in order to position DeSantis strongly in the primary race against Joe Biden.
According to a recent Fox Business survey, former President Donald Trump maintains a significant lead in the GOP field, with 46 percent of potential Iowa Republican caucus-goers expressing support for him. DeSantis just garnered 16 percent support as the first choice in the same poll, while Tim Scott received 11 percent.
Georgia Gilholy is a journalist based in the United Kingdom who has been published in Newsweek, The Times of Israel, and the Spectator. Gilholy writes about international politics, culture, and education.