Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ communications team tore into NBC News chief Washington correspondent Andrea Mitchell on Friday after she falsely asserted during an interview with Vice President Kamala Harris that the governor doesn’t want slavery taught in public schools.
“Let me ask you, what does Governor Ron DeSantis not know about black history and the black experience when he says that slavery and the aftermath of slavery should not be taught to Florida schoolchildren?” Mitchell disingenuously asked on “MSNBC Reports.”
“I don’t know what he knows and what he doesn’t know, but I know this: Any push to censor America’s teachers and tell them what they should be teaching in the best interest of our children … is, I think, wrongheaded,” Harris responded. “The people who know our children, are their parents and their teachers … and it should not be some politician saying what should be taught in our classrooms.”
DeSantis does not oppose teaching the history of slavery in schools and has not attempted to remove the subject of black history from Florida’s curriculum. What he does oppose is the politically divisive and racist subject of Critical Race Theory being taught in public schools. He rejected an AP course in African American studies because it taught CRT and Queer Theory.
DeSantis Press Secretary Bryan Griffin tweeted, “Shameful. This question from @mitchellreports exemplifies everything wrong with corporate media. They’re not accidentally terrible at their jobs–they’re maliciously intent on deceiving people. @GovRonDeSantis never said this, and FL has extensive black history requirements.”
— Bryan Griffin (@BryanDGriffin) February 17, 2023
He also tweeted out a link to the Florida Department of Education’s African American history requirements.
Former deputy communications director for DeSantis, David Keltz, also shredded Mitchell over the claim, tweeting, “Truly disgusting.”
— David Keltz (@David_Keltz) February 17, 2023
Rapid Response Director Christina Pushaw tweeted on her timeline, “Resorting to fabricated propaganda and false smear attacks is the clearest indication that someone does not have any legitimate points of criticism.”
Resorting to fabricated propaganda and false smear attacks is the clearest indication that someone does not have any legitimate points of criticism.
— Christina Pushaw 🐊 🇺🇸 (@ChristinaPushaw) February 17, 2023
Conservatives also took offense at the blatantly deceptive claim by Mitchell.
Newsbusters staff writer Alex Christy pummelled Mitchell for spreading “fake news.”
“Andrea Mitchell spreads some fake news, asking Kamala Harris, ‘Let me ask you, what does Governor Ron DeSantis not know about black history and the black experience when he says that slavery and the aftermath of slavery should not be taught to Florida schoolchildren?’” he tweeted, nailing Mitchell in the process.
Conservative writer and host of the “Rubin Report,” Dave Rubin, tweeted, “It’s interesting how we live in a time of a Cancel Culture but Andrea Mitchell can knowingly lie here with no fear of repercussions. It’s almost as if lying to uphold a false narrative is her actual job. Hmm…”
Twitter user Boomieleaks summed it up nicely, tweeting, “On MSNBC Andrea Mitchell randomly asks Kamala Harris why she thinks Ron DeSantis is banned the teaching of slavery in Florida. It wasn’t a follow up questions or related to any topic being discussed. Just propaganda because MSNBC had an audience for the VP interview.”
On MSNBC Andrea Mitchell randomly asks Kamala Harris why she thinks Ron DeSantis is banned the teaching of slavery in Florida.
It wasn’t a follow up questions or related to any topic being discussed. Just propaganda because MSNBC had an audience for the VP interview.
— Boomieleaks (@Boomieleaks) February 17, 2023
The New York Times reported this week that a new version of the AP African-American history class curriculum is being prepared for classrooms “after heavy criticism from Gov. Ron DeSantis.” It will include less focus on “Critical Race Theory, the queer experience, and black feminism” and won’t discuss “Black Lives Matter.”
DeSantis noted in January that the new AP course would not go forward in Florida as it stands.
“We want education, not indoctrination. Who would say that an important part of black history is queer theory? That is somebody pushing an agenda on our kids,” he said. “They have stuff about intersectionality and abolishing prisons. That is a political agenda. When you try to use black history to shoehorn in queer theory, you are clearly trying to use that for political purposes.”
Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) defends the state blocking an AP African American Studies course from being taught at schools:
“This course on Black history, what’s one of the lessons about? Queer theory. Now, who would say that an important part of Black history is queer theory?” pic.twitter.com/5425LbOYH8
— The Recount (@therecount) January 23, 2023
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