Kamala Harris speaking into microphones in front of red and white background (l) Ron DeSantis speaking into microphones in front of wood wall and flag (r)

lev radin/Shutterstock Hunter Crenian/Shutterstock (Licensed) Remix by Caterina Cox

Kamala Harris dismisses Ron DeSantis’ immigration jab, invite to discuss benefits of slavery with him

DeSantis extended the invite following Harris' continued criticism of his new education standards.


Katherine Huggins


Posted on Aug 2, 2023

Vice President Kamala Harris rejected an invitation Tuesday from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) to discuss his state’s new African American history standards, which she has continually criticized for teaching that slaves learned specialized skills, “which, in some instances, could be applied for their personal benefit.”

“There is no roundtable, no lecture, no invitation we will accept to debate an undeniable fact: there were no redeeming qualities of slavery,” Harris said at a convention in Orlando.

The DeSantis administration extended the invite on Monday, quipping in a letter that the governor was prepared to meet with Harris as early as Wednesday “but of course want to be deferential to your busy schedule should you already have a trip to the southern border planned for that day.”

The comment was a not-so-subtle reference to Harris’ lack of visits to the southern border, despite being named by President Joe Biden to lead his administration’s response to migration issues at the southern border.

Harris has so far made only one visit to the border—to El Paso in June 2021—which critics allege is far from where the biggest migration challenges are present, such as by the Rio Grande Valley.

“In Florida we are unafraid to have an open and honest dialogue about the issues,” DeSantis wrote in the letter, which his press secretary shared online.

“And you clearly have no trouble ducking down to Florida on short notice. So given your grave concern (which, I must assume, is sincere) about what you think our standards say, I am officially inviting you back down to Florida to discuss our African American History standards.”

Harris has been a vocal opponent of the standards, which she argued teach “revisionist history.”

“Adults know what slavery really involved. 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,” she said during a July trip to Florida concerning the education standards, which alongside this week’s visit DeSantis appeared to be referencing.

The DeSantis administration has countered criticism by noting the College Board’s Advanced Placement African American Studies course (which Florida originally rejected over concerns about critical race theory) also contained language about former slaves using skills they learned “to provide for themselves and others.”

We crawl the web so you don’t have to.
Sign up for the Daily Dot newsletter to get the best and worst of the internet in your inbox every day.
Share this article
*First Published: Aug 2, 2023, 10:47 am CDT