Kamala Harris Rejected Ron DeSantis’ Invitation to Debate Him – Vice President Kamala Harris turned down Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ invitation for a debate amid a row over the state’s curriculum.
Some are accusing her of being afraid to debate with the controversy possibly hurting her and Joe Biden in 2024.
What happens now?
Kamala Harris Said No
Gov. DeSantis – seen by many to be Donald Trump’s main rival in the Republican nomination race despite a near 40 percentage point difference – invited Harris following her comments over education in Florida’s schools.
A new instruction on the teaching of Black history has been a contentious issue among DeSantis’ critics in recent weeks.
The Florida Governor has defended the instruction, which focuses on “how slaves developed skills which, in some instances, could be applied for their personal benefit.”
What prompted Gov. DeSantis’ invitation?
The controversial addition to Florida’s history curriculum has been the subject of debate for nearly two weeks.
Last month, Harris addressed the state board of education in a visit to Jacksonville, FL.
“All the folks that we would go out and send our children to go and meet around the world are clear about our history, and we … send our children now to not know what it is,” she said.
“Building in a handicap for our children that they are going to be the ones in the room who don’t know their own history – when the rest of the world does?”
Harris, the first woman and person of color to hold the office of vice president, had previously said the curriculum was “an attempt to gaslight us and we will not stand for it.”
The remarks prompted DeSantis to invite Harris to a public debate over the issue.
In a letter on Monday, DeSantis claimed Florida was the “number one state in the nation for education,” arguing that he was making record investments in the state’s schools.
“We are committed to teaching truth, not partisan narratives,” DeSantis wrote.
“We have rooted out hateful Marxist theories like ‘Critical Race Theory’ from our classrooms. We have eliminated ‘Diversity, Equity and Inclusion’ initiatives in school administration and hiring practices.”
“We have, instead, focused on the basics of reading, writing, arithmetic, science, civics and history.”
On Tuesday, Harris spoke at the 20th Women’s Missionary Society of the African Methodist Episcopal Church Quadrennial Convention in Orlando where she addressed the curriculum once again.
“They attempt to legitimize these unnecessary debates with a proposal that most recently came in of a politically motivated roundtable,” said the Vice President.
“Well, I’m here in Florida, and I will tell you there is no roundtable, no lecture, no invitation we will accept to debate an undeniable fact. There were no redeeming qualities of slavery.”
DeSantis was quick to respond, and said politicians in Washington D.C. have chosen to “malign our state and its residents” while accusing the Biden administration of disparaging Florida.
“[Harris] came to Florida to attack us, and she’s trying to attack me,” DeSantis told Fox News on Tuesday.
“But she’s really attacking the people that worked hard on this and have done a lot of yeoman’s work. And so that’s just wrong. I think it’s wrong to let lies be perpetuated. It’s wrong to let false narratives stand.”
Shay Bottomley is a British journalist based in Canada. He has written for the Western Standard, Maidenhead Advertiser, Slough Express, Windsor Express, Berkshire Live and Southend Echo, and has covered notable events including the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.