A CNN Republican commentator condemned Kamala Harris for speaking out against Florida’s new school curriculum, saying her anger over the course discussing how slaves “benefited” was wrong and calling the scandal “manufactured.”
Harris was in Jacksonville, Florida, on Saturday and condemned the new curriculum, which was unveiled on July 19.
The Florida Board of Education new state academic standards for social studies it states that students are to be taught ‘how slaves developed skills that, in some cases, could be applied to their personal benefit’.
Harris said that teaching students that slaves benefited from being enslaved was abhorrent.
But Scott Jennings, a political commentator, Harvard professor and public relations expert who served in the George W. Bush White House, said Harris was wrong, accusing her of “literally making something out of nothing.”
CNN commentator Scott Jennings condemned Kamala Harris on Sunday for her criticism of Florida’s new curriculum.
“People who walk around and want to be praised as leaders, want to be talked about as American leaders, pushing propaganda about our children,” said Vice President Kamala Harris.
‘What is amazing to me [is] that how little Kamala Harris apparently has to do to be able to read something on Twitter one day and be on the plane the next day to literally make something out of nothing,” she told CNN.
‘This is a completely fabricated deal.’
Jennings claimed that outrage over the curriculum, endorsed by Florida Governor and presidential candidate Ron DeSantis, was unwarranted.
“I looked at the standards, I even looked at an analysis of the standards, in every case where the word slavery or slave was used, I even read the statement from the African-American academics who wrote the standards, not Ron DeSantis, but the academics,” he said.
“Everyone involved in this is saying this is completely a made up problem and yet look how quickly Kamala Harris jumped on it.
“So the fact that this is his prime, a fabricated affair, is pretty ridiculous.”
On page six of the 216-page document, it says, “The instruction includes how the slaves developed skills that, in some cases, could be applied to their personal benefit.”
It also states, on page 17, that teachers discussing race riots like the Tulsa Massacre must discuss black-on-black violence and note ‘acts of violence perpetrated against and by African-Americans.’
Florida Governor and presidential candidate Ron DeSantis attacked Joe Biden and Kamala Harris for their approach to their Florida policies
Ashley Allison, a Harvard professor and CNN commentator (right), disagreed with Jennings
The Florida Education Association, the largest teachers’ union in the state, said in a statement that the new standards were unacceptable.
“These standards are a disservice to Florida students and are a huge step backwards for a state that has required the teaching of African-American history since 1994,” the union said.
The NAACP called the curriculum “sanitized and dishonest”.
Derrick Johnson, President and CEO, said, “Today’s actions by the Florida State government are an attempt to return our country to a 19th century America where Black lives were not valued and our rights were not 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.
“The NAACP has been fighting malicious actors like those in the DeSantis Administration for more than a century, and we stand prepared to continue that fight by any means necessary.
“Our children deserve nothing less than the truth, justice, and fairness for which our forefathers shed blood, sweat, and tears.”
Ashley Allison, a member of CNN’s panel on Sunday, said Jennings was wrong.
“I think that on this panel we can all agree that slaves do not benefit from slavery,” he said.
“Even if the subpoena said, ‘Well, they may have gotten…’, they had no choice, so it’s not a benefit. Slaves didn’t have the freedom to choose, as Ron DeSantis said, maybe they could have become blacksmiths. Not when they didn’t have the option of becoming a blacksmith.
‘And that’s what Kamala Harris said.’
Allison said the curriculum had to be seen as part of DeSantis’ “war on the awakening” and his presidential campaign.
“And I hope that at this time, when we have such a contentious political environment, we can all agree that slavery was not a good thing and that slaves did not benefit. And then we could move on,’ he said.
“But the problem is that the governor who is second in the polls for the Republican nomination will not do that.”