Mike Pence Claims CRT Teaches Kindergarteners to Be 'Ashamed of Their Skin Color'

Former vice president Mike Pence has repeated his attack on critical race theory, claiming that it teaches kindergarten-age children to be "ashamed of their skin color."

Pence made his latest remarks on critical race theory, or CRT, during a speech at the Family Leadership Summit in Des Moines on Friday. He accused Joe Biden's administration of replacing "patriotic education" with "political indoctrination."

He said: "They abolished our 1776 Commission and authorized teaching critical race theory in our schools. Instead of teaching all our children to be proud of their country, critical race theory teaches children as young as kindergarten to be ashamed of their skin color.

"Critical race theory is state-sanctioned racism, pure and simple, and it should be opposed by every American, every day."

Today I covered the Family Leadership Summit. Here’s what former Vice President Mike Pence had to say about critical race theory: pic.twitter.com/E0ZvmADbQW

— Victoria Reyna-Rodriguez (@VictoriaReynaR) July 17, 2021

CRT is an academic framework that examines history through the lens of racism and argues that racism is embedded in U.S. law and institutions.

But conservatives have turned it into a political rallying cry, claiming it is an effort to rewrite U.S. history and persuade white people that they are inherently racist.

Pence repeated his claims about critical race theory at Friday's inaugural Feenstra Family Picnic in Sioux Center.

"It's far past time to discard the left-wing reflex to find systemic racism in every institution in the country," he said. "America is not a racist country. America is the most just, noble and inclusive nation ever to exist on the face of the earth."

Former VP Mike Pence: "America is not a racist country. America is the most just, noble, and inclusive nation ever to exist on the face of the earth." pic.twitter.com/bL7XHQwDWD

— The Hill (@thehill) July 16, 2021

There is little to no evidence that critical race theory is being taught to K-12 public school students, according to the Associated Press.

Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, has said it is mostly taught in universities and not in elementary, middle and high schools.

But so far, 26 states have introduced bills or taken other steps to limit how race and racism can be taught in classrooms, according to an analysis by Education Week. Eleven Republican-led states have enacted bans, either through legislation or other actions.

Friday's speech wasn't the first time Pence has decried critical race theory and claimed it was being taught to children in kindergarten.

In a speech last month, he said the Republican Party must look to "restore the classics to education in our schools" and "eliminate critical race theory at every level."

Mike Pence speaks in South Carolina
Former Vice President Mike Pence speaks to a crowd during an event sponsored by the Palmetto Family organization on April 29, 2021 in Columbia, South Carolina. Sean Rayford/Getty Images

"Critical race theory teaches children as young as kindergarten to be ashamed of their skin color. It represents a full-throated assault aimed at the heart of the American experiment," Pence added.

Earlier this week, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy invoked the words of Martin Luther King Jr's famous "I Have A Dream" speech while decrying critical race theory.

It prompted his daughter, Bernice King, to respond by advising the Republican leader to study her father's teachings more closely.