Not only does Kamala Harris, Vice-President of the United States, specialize in producing word salads from scratch, she makes rancid jam from low-hanging fruit as well.  At a recent speech at Jacksonville, Florida, Harris targeted the state’s African American history curriculum, meaning to diminish Presidential-aspirant Governor Ron DeSantis in the process. Mary Grabar, Resident Fellow, The Alexander Hamilton Institute for Western Civilization (AHI), fumes at the blatant caricature of those standards that were written as a collaborative effort by thirteen white and black specialists.

In “Kamala Harris Wants Florida to Teach Racist History” in the July 25th issue of The American Spectator, Dr. Grabar observes that Harris hankers to have an unrelenting story of dehumanization told.  She wants a tale of complex reciprocity reduced to an ideological fairytale. Despite the circumscription of slavery, slaves had agency, everywhere on the planet where slavery existed and especially in the United States. Harris represents slaves as beings without will, as dead beings, in short, everything their masters, in their pipe dreams, wanted them to be.

Harris pokes fun at one prompt that asked students “how slaves developed skills which, in some instances, could be applied to their personal benefit.”  The mainstream media, not to be outdone, played up Harris’s criticism of the sentence, showing telecasts of her using it over and over again.  But slaves in the United States or what became the United States, persistently redeemed themselves in their chattelhood by skill and artifice.  Slaves labored not only as fieldhands, but in a wide variety of occupations.  Some were manumitted and even owned slaves themselves.  Dr. Grabar notes that Nikole Hannah-Jones, the architect of the spurious 1619 Project, had received tweets from Harris in 2019 praising the project as a ‘masterpiece.’” She “returned the favor by retweeting clips of Harris’ performance” in Jacksonville’s Ritz Theatre and Museum.

“Torture and rape did occur in America — and across the globe at that time,” asserted Dr. Grabar. “But it is also true that, as the Florida standards point out, some slaves in America did benefit from the skills they were taught.”