The family of five talked about racism and how to have conversations with their children
The former HGTV stars brought along their five kids — Drake, 15, Ella, 13, Duke, 12, Emmie, 10, and Crew, 2 — to have a conversation about what’s happening in the world today and discuss how they should approach the topic of race with their kids.
Joanna told a story about asking her kids if they went to a gas station and saw a black man and a white man, who would the kids feel more threatened by? The kids apparently said they wouldn’t be threatened by either man. “So later, Chip and I were talking and this whole idea of this color-blind thing came up and Chip said, ‘You know I’m proud I think our kids are colorblind,'” Joanna told Acho. “And then we started kind of pushing back on that and I think our question to you is… What’s the best way to move forward with this conversation?”
Acho patiently explained to the Gaines family that it’s not really possible to be colorblind because, well, people are different colors and only white people have that privilege. It also negates the lived experiences of people of color (including Joanne) when a person doesn’t honor the history and culture from which they came.
Acho explained that he thinks “if we don’t expose our children to different colors, to different races,” then as they grow up, they “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, “I think there’s a strength, there’s a beauty in seeing color. I don’t like the concept of color blindness because colors and cultures are beautiful.”
Chip then asked how we can “solve” racism because many white people don’t want to enter into conversations about race because they may be labeled a racist. “In America, we have to remember that history is meant to be remembered, but history isn’t always meant to be celebrated,” Acho responds with the patience of a saint. “We have history so engrained into our culture, we don’t even realize we’re blind to it.”
It was the Gaines’ youngest daughter, Emmie, who actually asked a meaningful question to Acho: “Are you afraid of white people?” to which Acho responded, “I’m not afraid of white people; I’m cautious of white people.”
Listen, kudos to them for taking the time to educate themselves and have these conversations with their kids (many don’t) and use their celebrity to bring attention to what’s happening. They also pledged $200,000 to the NAACP Waco chapter. It’s just painful to watch two educated adults ask a Black man to explain to them when they could have easily educated themselves and then come on the show to ask more meaningful questions than ones about “colorblindness” to really move the conversation forward.