Jacksonville state lawmaker issues cease-and-desist over criticism surrounding slavery comments

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Two Jacksonville state lawmakers are in a heated fight over the state’s new African American history standards and Thursday, it culminated in one issuing a cease and desist letter to the other.

The spat started with State Representative Angie Nixon (D-Jacksonville) criticizing State Representative Kimberly Daniels’ (D-Jacksonville) position serving on the African American History Task Force, due to the comments Daniels made during a sermon 15 years ago.


“I thank God for slavery. I thank God for the crack house. If it weren’t for the crack house, God wouldn’t have never been able to use me how he can use me now and if it wasn’t for slavery, I might be somewhere in Africa worshiping a tree,” Daniels said during the sermon delivered at Solid Rock Church in Monroe, Ohio in 2008.

It’s a comment Daniels has claimed for years was taken out of context.

“There was a whole message, about thank God for the crack house. Would I thank God for the crack house? I was saying thank God for all the atrocities and the hard things that I’ve been through,” Daniels said during a Thursday press conference.

[DOWNLOAD: Free Action News Jax app for alerts as news breaks]

In that press conference, Daniels announced she had issued Nixon a cease-and-desist letter, accusing her of defamation for misrepresenting her comments and her involvement in the creation of the state’s new African American history standards.

“Your defamatory statements involved statements known to be false and made with actual malice regarding her activities on the African American Studies Taskforce,” Daniels’ attorney Robert Slama wrote in the letter.

While Daniels is on the African American History Task Force, Action News Jax pointed out in its report earlier this week, the standards were developed by a separate work group.

Related Story: ‘I thank God for slavery:’ Florida African American History Task Force appointments raise concerns

Daniels stated she doesn’t agree with parts of those standards, including a portion which highlights skills slaves learned which, “could be applied for their personal benefit.”

“I think it was not worded right and it sent the wrong message,” Daniels said.

Nixon responded to the cease-and-desist, arguing whether Daniels crafted the standards or not, her position on the task force raises alarms.

Read: ‘It’s the same standard:’ DeSantis admin fires back in debate over African American history

“That seems to be the concern of lots of people, a lot of other state legislators across the state as well. I’m just being unfairly targeted, and I think it’s all because we ran a race against each other three years ago,” Nixon said in an interview with Action News Jax.

Nixon did defeat Daniels in a state House race in 2020.

However, Daniels argued she’s the one being targeted by Nixon.

[SIGN UP: Action News Jax Daily Headlines Newsletter]

“I brought home millions of dollars to the community. Millions and millions of dollars passed a lot of legislation. Some people didn’t do that and they may be frustrated and that’s a way to attack me and that’s my take on it,” Daniels said.

Both lawmakers expressed a desire to move past this issue and get back to work helping their communities.

Time will tell whether they strike a lasting truce.