Virginia GOP Delegate Mocked by Proposing Bill to Require Teachers That Lincoln Debated Frederick Douglass

Wren Williams, a Republican in Virginia’s House of Delegates, has proposed a bill that would regulate and standardize high school-level social studies curriculum in the state. Online, critics quickly identified an issue: One of the apparent lessons isn’t true. Abraham Lincoln, former President, didn’t debate Frederick Douglass (Black abolitionist) Both were on the exact same side when it came to abolishing slavery.

House Bill 781 provides a directive for social science teachers to instruct on “the founding documents of the United States, including the Declaration of Independence, the United States Constitution, the Federalist Papers, including Essays 10 and 51, excerpts from Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America, the first debate between Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, and the writings of the Founding Fathers of the United States.”

High school students in all parts of the country are taught English. Do Participate in the so-called “Standing for Change” “Lincoln-Douglas debate.”This debate format involves one party arguing in favor of a proposal while the other side arguing against it. It was named after Lincoln, who debated Steven Douglas, a former senator, about slavery.

abraham lincoln frederick douglass

Williams was harshly criticized for his error.

Wendell Edwards, Connecticut morning news reporter Tweet he didn’t think Williams “understood the assignment”When it came time to write the bill, he was happy to see that the prominent abolitionist was trending here as a result.

Sally Hudson, who also serves in the state’s House, Tweet, “If Virginia is going to pass a law requiring that each student demonstrate an understanding of the Lincoln-Douglas debates we should start by getting the right Douglas. Is this a test to see who did the reading?”

FiveThirtyEight’s Geoffrey Skelley pointed out an old Washington Post Article that revealed Williams put his law practice on hold to join the legal team challenging Trump’s vote counts in Wisconsin: “Well, the delegate who proposed this also believes Trump won, so who knows, he may think Abe Lincoln and Frederick Douglass crisscrossed Illinois in 1858 debating each other.”

Williams was sworn to his position Tuesday

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