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Fixer-upper stars Chip and Joanna Gaines and all five of their children joined former NFL linebacker Emmanuel Acho on Wednesday to talk about the state of race relations in the country following high-profile deaths of black men at the hands of police.
During an appearance on Acho’s Instagram series, “Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man,” one of the Gaines’ children, Emmie, asked Acho if he was “afraid of white people.”
After letting out a surprised laugh, Acho thought for a moment and responded.
“I’m not afraid of white people — I’m cautious of white people,” Acho said. “I think about water and electricity: Water is necessary for life. Electricity is also necessary for life but I do understand if those two have a negative interaction, it could be lethal.”
He added: “We learn things as kids and it develops us as adults, which is why you all being here with your children is the most powerful thing because this conversation could be life-changing — and not necessarily for their lives, but for the life of someone who looks like me.”
The famous fixer couple appeared with Drake, 15, Duke, 12, Ella Rose, 13, Emmie Kay, 10, and Crew, who turns two years old next week, the UK’s Daily Mail reported. On his show, Acho interviews white people who want to learn more about race relations and interactions.
Chip, 45, and Joanna, 42, discussed how they have been teaching their kids not to see “color” until recently. Following the deaths of George Floyd at the hands of a few bad police officers in Minneapolis and felon Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta, the couple said they wanted to know how to advance the conversation with their kids regarding race at this juncture in our country’s history.
“We’ve been having this dialogue with our kids and Chip, the other day, he was wanting to get a pulse on, ‘What are our kids thinking about all of this?’ And so he asked the kids a question: ‘Pretend like you’re at a gas station and you see a black man and a white man. Are you more threatened by either of those two men?’” Joanna said.
“And the kids, really quick, all said, ‘No, why?’ They didn’t even think about that,” she noted further. “Chip and I were talking and this whole idea of this colorblind thing came up and Chip said, ‘I’m proud — I think our kids are colorblind.’”
“And then we started kind of pushing back on that, and I think our question to you is, I’ve heard other parents say that they want to raise their kids colorblind — in your opinion, what’s the best way to move forward with this conversation?” Joanna asked the host.
“I think that it’s best that we raise our kids to see color because there’s a beauty in color and there’s a beauty in culture,” Acho — who is a sports analyst for Fox Sports 1 — said.
“I think that if we don’t see color — if we don’t expose our children to different colors, to different races — then it’ll be the same thing as a white kid who becomes an adult: You won’t be able to decipher the difference between a Black man that’s a threat and a Black man that’s just Black,” he added.
At one point, Drake asked Acho if he has hope for the future.
“Do I have hope for the future? I do because of a man like your dad. Do I have hope for the future? I do because of a woman like your mom,” he answered.
“But the only way to have hope for the future is if you all listen to these people, if these people listen to me and if I listen to them. Then I think we all have a lot of hope for the future,” Acho continued.
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