Fred Rogers Donating His Red Sweater

Source: Bettmann / Getty

With the Mr. Rogers documentary Won’t You Be My Neighbor inspiring nostalgia in so many folks who learned from the hero of so many childhoods, we reminisce on the things that made Fred Rogers a special type of TV personality. One goal that he truly succeeded at was teaching young people about acceptance and kindness.

His widow, Joanne Rogers, recently appeared on Megyn Kelly Today with Nicholas Ma—a family friend of the Rogers and son of internationally renown cellist Yo-Yo Ma—to discuss the documentary and Fred’s legacy. One of the questions that Kelly asked was how Fred would respond to the current political climate.

“I think it would be about the children,” Joanne replied. “It would be about the immigrants who are having children taken, the children themselves. And it breaks my heart. And I know it breaks everybody’s heart.”

Rogers never shied away from talking about issues that others assumed would be difficult for kids to grasp. Some of the topics that he tackled included divorce, ability, and race.

One of the other things that Kelly—whose supporters and followers are typically right-leaning Republicans—asked about was the episode when he invited a Black actor on the show during the Civil Rights Movement.

“At the time, Blacks and whites were not welcome in the same swimming pools, so he made a point of bringing on Francois Clemmens, an African American, on as the chief of police in the neighborhood and the two of them put their feet in the swimming pool together and then dried Francois’ feet,”  Ma said. “It’s so quintessentially Fred, not to talk about it, just to do it, simply, quietly, and elegantly—a reminder that kindness is possible for everybody, possibly at times a challenge, but also an obligation.”

The idea that we should treat every person with kindness, regardless of their background, is not a new one. But in this day and age, the reminder is important.

Check out the clip below.

Fred Rogers Donating His Red Sweater

Source: Bettmann / Getty

With the Mr. Rogers documentary Won’t You Be My Neighbor inspiring nostalgia in so many folks who learned from the hero of so many childhoods, we reminisce on the things that made Fred Rogers a special type of TV personality. One goal that he truly succeeded at was teaching young people about acceptance and kindness.

His widow, Joanne Rogers, recently appeared on Megyn Kelly Today with Nicholas Ma—a family friend of the Rogers and son of internationally renown cellist Yo-Yo Ma—to discuss the documentary and Fred’s legacy. One of the questions that Kelly asked was how Fred would respond to the current political climate.

“I think it would be about the children,” Joanne replied. “It would be about the immigrants who are having children taken, the children themselves. And it breaks my heart. And I know it breaks everybody’s heart.”

Rogers never shied away from talking about issues that others assumed would be difficult for kids to grasp. Some of the topics that he tackled included divorce, ability, and race.

One of the other things that Kelly—whose supporters and followers are typically right-leaning Republicans—asked about was the episode when he invited a Black actor on the show during the Civil Rights Movement.

“At the time, Blacks and whites were not welcome in the same swimming pools, so he made a point of bringing on Francois Clemmens, an African American, on as the chief of police in the neighborhood and the two of them put their feet in the swimming pool together and then dried Francois’ feet,”  Ma said. “It’s so quintessentially Fred, not to talk about it, just to do it, simply, quietly, and elegantly—a reminder that kindness is possible for everybody, possibly at times a challenge, but also an obligation.”

The idea that we should treat every person with kindness, regardless of their background, is not a new one. But in this day and age, the reminder is important.

Check out the clip below.