Dr. William Allen, the co-author of Florida’s black history curriculum, appeared on Fox News to dispute the allegations the state is attempting to whitewash the legacy of slavery.
Allen appeared on Monday’s edition of “Jesse Watters Primetime,” where he claimed that Vice President Kamala Harris is being dishonest in her criticisms of Florida’s black history teaching guidelines. (RELATED: DeSantis Blasts MSNBC After Anchor Falsely Claims He Is Prohibiting Kids From Learning About Slavery)
“Permit me not to give you Kamala Harris’ motives. They’re invisible. I don’t know them. We can all have suspicions that there’s a dishonest purpose afoot. But what’s more important than that dishonest purpose is the truth, and this curriculum is devoted to telling the truth. Whereas, Kamala Harris has re-telled a lie. Now, it may have only have been a falsehood the first time she stated it. But when you repeat a falsehood, it becomes a lie,” Allen said.
Allen repeated a story from Frederick Douglass’ biography in which he described being taught how to read by his master’s mistress, a skill that he used to his benefit throughout his life.
“Such examples are numerous,” Allen said.
Allen defended the curriculum, saying that it centers on enslaved black voices and allows them to “tell their stories.” Allen said that critics of the curriculum are attempting to project modern sensibilities and grievances onto people of an earlier era. By doing this, they are erasing their stories and legacies, Allen claimed.
“Because what is being done here is the attempt to create stories for our time and impose them on people who told their stories in their own time, thereby erasing their stories,” Allen said.
He pointed out the “wonderful irony” that critics of the curriculum are accusing it of putting forth a whitewashed version of black history. Instead, those who claim the founding of America was “nothing but slavery,” are obscuring the past, Allen claimed.
“I can point out quickly enough that Frederick Douglass and Ida B. Wells in 1893 demonstrated in protesting the exclusion of blacks from the World Fair of 1893, amidst thousands of lynchings, that the accomplishments of black people post-slavery were the accomplishments not just of black Americans, but the accomplishments of American principles,” Allen said.
The Florida legislature was condemned last week when the national media reported the state would begin teaching that black slaves learned skills that could be used for their own benefit. Harris skewered the DeSantis administration over the supposed curriculum changes and held a rally in Jacksonville in protest.