Monday on Fox News Channel’s Jesse Watters Primetime, Dr. William Allen — one of the authors of Florida’s social studies standards — fired back at criticism of one provision that instruction will include “how slaves developed skills which, in some instances, could be applied for their personal benefit” by pointing to Frederick Douglass’ autobiography where he wrote about beginning to learn to read as a slave, which Douglass was able to exploit to fight to end slavery and stated that the stories of those who “suffered the indignity of slavery” contain numerous examples of the same thing.
Host Jesse Watters said, “Tell [Vice President Kamala Harris] right now, what specifically this component of the slavery course teaches,” referring to the epically incompetent VP’s blatant lie that the curriculum claims slavery benefitted blacks.
Allen responded, “Well, permit me to have Frederick Douglass tell her. He wrote an autobiography, in which he described how the mistress of his slave owner began to teach him to read. She pulled back the curtain through which a glimmer of light shown, before the master forced her to close it. But that glimmer of light was enough for Frederick Douglass to illumine a bright flame, that he exploited to his benefit and his country’s benefit thereafter. Such examples are numerous and they are retelling the stories of people who suffered the indignity of slavery time and again.”
He continued, “And quickly permit me to say, what this curriculum is about is having people who lived the experience, who lived the history tell their stories. And nothing is more important than that we never, ever erase the stories that the people who lived the stories tell. No one has the right to interpret before first understanding the stories as the people who lived them understood them themselves.”