Republican presidential candidate Tim Scott has criticized fellow contender Ron DeSantis over the governor’s support for Florida’s education standards, which mandate instruction on the so-called “benefits” of slavery.
Scott, a senator from South Carolina, emphasized that there was “no silver lining in slavery” and questioned the appropriateness of such a curriculum, Politico reported.
He is currently the only black Republican candidate and is the third black GOP primary candidate in this presidential election cycle.
Alan Keyes was the first black Republican presidential candidate in the primary in 1996 where then-Kansas Senator Bob Dole was the nominated to run against incumbent President Bill Clinton.
Herman Cain was the second black Republican candidate in 2012, who was known for his 9-9-9 plan. Then-former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney was nominated run against incumbent President Barack Obama.
No Black Republican candidate has ever made it to the general election as the nominee for the Republican Party.
“Slavery was really about separating families, about mutilating humans and even raping their wives. It was just devastating,” said Scott about the history of slavery. “So I would hope that every person in our country − and certainly running for president − would appreciate that.”
The Florida education standards, backed by DeSantis, require middle school teachers to instruct students that enslaved people “developed skills which, in some instances, could be applied for their personal benefit.”
The controversy surrounding the Florida curriculum comes amid the governor’s campaign for the 2024 presidential election.
This curriculum has drawn criticism from a wide range of political figures, including Vice President Kamala Harris and Rep. Byron Donalds (R-FL).
In response to Donalds’ criticism, DeSantis questioned the representative’s loyalty to the Florida Republican Party, asking whether he would side with Harris and liberal media outlets or with the state of Florida.
Meanwhile, DeSantis has seen his net approval rating slump to a new low of -24, according to a Civiqs poll. The poll found that DeSantis is struggling to make headway against former President Donald Trump.
DeSantis implemented the Stop WOKE Act that prohibits instruction that individuals share responsibility for others’ past actions by virtue of their race, sex or national origin.
The teaching of critical race theory is prohibited in Florida, which the Republicans have criticized the theory as polarizing in classrooms.
DeSantis has defended the stated education board that he had appointed, but had blamed Democrats and the media for the backlash.
“I think it’s very clear that these guys did a good job on those standards,” said DeSantis in defending the state board.
Scott and DeSantis remain behind in the polls for the Republican primary against former President Donald Trump as donors are looking for an alternative candidate.
Produced in association with Benzinga
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