Vice President Kamala Harris can’t help but make a fool of herself on the public stage every time she opens her mouth.
Who can forget such classics as her explanation of the crisis in Ukraine: “So, Ukraine is a country in Europe. It exists next to another country called Russia. Russia is a bigger country. Russia is a powerful country. Russia decided to invade a smaller country called Ukraine. So, basically, that’s wrong, and it goes against everything that we stand for.”
Or this gem during a pro-abortion rally: “So, I think it’s very important, as you have heard from so many incredible leaders, for us at every moment in time — and certainly this one — to see the moment in time in which we exist and are present, and to be able to contextualize it, to understand where we exist in the history and in the moment as it relates not only to the past but the future.”
And, of course, her recent call to “reduce population to fight climate change.”
It seems the second-in-command is surpassed only by her illustrious leader in headline-catching, head-scratching word jumbles and gaffes.
Usually, the Vice-Giggler is guilty of unclear and seemingly random word salads, but her comments regarding Florida’s recent curricula changes were made to intentionally misrepresent a situation for her own political agenda.
Her target was Florida’s newly passed Black history curricula. Harris grabbed onto one concept of the curricula and wove it into a narrative completely out of context, hoping to garner anti-racist support.
“They want to replace history with lies,” Harris said at the Ritz Theatre and Museum in Jacksonville on Friday. “Middle school students in Florida to be told that enslaved people benefited from slavery.”
It was a claim so absurd that even CNN’s conservative political commentator Scott Jennings called them “fabricated.” He noted, “What is amazing to me [is] that how little Kamala Harris apparently has to do that she can read something on Twitter one day and be on the airplane the next to make something literally out of nothing. This is a completely made-up deal. I looked at the standards, I even looked at an analysis of the standards, in every instance where the word slavery or slave was used, I even read the statement of the African American scholars that wrote the standards – not [Florida Gov.] Ron DeSantis, but the scholars.”
Harris is misrepresenting one small part of the curricula, which states that “slaves developed skills which, in some instances, could be applied for their personal benefit.” While the horrors of slavery can never be overstated, the concept that some slaves learned valuable skills is undisputed.
Frances Pressley Rice, chair of the National Black Republican Association, wrote a statement clarifying the claim that “slaves benefitted from slavery.” The intent of incorporating this into the curricula was, he explains, “to show that some slaves developed highly specialized trades from which they benefited, He went on to list the names of teachers, shoemakers, tailors, shipping and industry workers, and tailors who were taught skills that they took with them following the abolishment of slavery. Additionally, some slave owners insisted on teaching slaves to read and write, despite the practice’s illegal standing.
Rice said, “Any attempt to reduce slaves to just victims of oppression fails to recognize their strength, courage, and resilience during a difficult time in American history.”
One member of the working group that created the curricula explains that the course’s intent is to show that, despite Harris’ wild claim, “slaves benefited from the skills, not the slavery.”
Harris’ critics claim that she was fully aware that she intentionally misled the public about the standards. Kali Fontanilla, a Black American and the founder of the Exodus Institute explained, “This is a sick political strategy that Vice President Harris is trying to do because she knows that her voters are not going to take the time to actually read the curricula of the Florida standards, which are some of the most extensive standards I’ve ever seen on teaching Black history.”
Fontanilla went on to defend the curricula. “I read them last night, and they’re actually really beautiful standards. She added, “She’s taking this one line and misrepresenting it in order to gaslight her voters. It’s very obvious to those that are actually taking the time to read it, but to those that aren’t going to take the time to research, they’re going to eat this up like candy because it’s very hard to defend.”
It remains to be seen if Harris deliberately misrepresented Florida’s new curricula or if she never bothered to read them. Either way, it’s very apparent that Harris needs to go back to school and learn basic reading comprehension.
And take a good public speaking course while she’s there.