BILL HEMMER (HOST) Do you know KinderCare, that organization across the country?
TONY KINNETT (EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, CHALKBOARD REVIEW): I'm familiar with it, yes.
HEMMER: OK, well, KinderCare comes out of Portland, Oregon, but they have 2,000 locations across the U.S.A. They employ more than 29,000 teachers, serve 161,000 children, age six weeks to 12 years, each day of the week. Well, they put out a statement and said the following, called for it, too: “Whether your child is six weeks old or in the sixth grade, they are ready to learn how to practice empathy, compassion, and understanding ... . It's never too early to learn about diversity, equity, and inclusion.” What do you make of that?
KINNETT: Well, it's a lot of nice words that are kind of made to sweeten the cough syrup as it goes down. So, the idea is that we want your children, who are, you know, very vulnerable and are going to believe anything that you tell them because they are little children, we want them to believe that they're either victims or they are oppressors because of their skin color. But we can't say that directly to the parents because that's insane, and everyone knows that. So we give it really nice-sounding words so you feel as though this is something good to do with your kids. It's something we should be teaching everyone because it's wholesome. Well, it's not.
HEMMER: Six weeks?
KINNETT: Goodness. I can't even imagine —
HEMMER: Six weeks old.
KINNETT: — why a six-week-old child would need to be taught that they're an oppressor. How would you do that? Hold up a picture of a Black child and say good? Hold up a picture of a white child and say bad? I mean, this is embarrassing. I don't know why anyone's taking them seriously at this point.
HEMMER: One more thing to put up, on screen. Read multicultural books from KinderCare. Point out “same” and “different” attributes. Name feelings to interrupt biases before they start. What do you make of that?
KINNETT: I mean, there is this entire characteristic set of things that white culture supposedly invented and we're teaching our students that if they adopt certain characteristics, then that's white and that's bad. Things like punctuality, things like citing sources in the written word. The Smithsonian published something on this a couple of years ago that was called out. So, it didn't work then, so now we're gonna try to indoctrinating little children about it because those are the only people who are, you know, not learned enough to get it.
HEMMER: It got our attention. Operating in 40 states and Washington, D.C. Tony, thanks for coming in today. Nice to see ya.