Chip and Joanna Gaines are trying to learn how they can help their kids better understand race in America. In a new episode of Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man released on Wednesday night, the Fixer Upper stars sat down with host Emmanuel Acho and their five children.
In the episode, Joanna explains that she and Chip have been having a dialogue with the kids about race. She said that Chip recently wanted to see how they were feeling in the wake of George Floyd’s death, and so he presented them with a scenario.
He asked the kids to imagine that they were at a gas station and saw two men, one white and one black. The kids said that they wouldn’t feel threatened by either man, and Chip thought it was good that they didn’t see color.
Joanna said that, while initially they thought it was good that their kids were “colorblind,” they eventually started to push back on that idea.
“In your opinion, what’s the best way to move forward with this conversation?” she asked Emmanuel.
The athlete resisted the idea of colorblindness in his response.
“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,” the host explained.
He went on to offer an example, saying that because he didn’t grow up around dogs, he couldn’t tell the difference between a dog who was a threat and one who wasn’t.
“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 continued.
Emmanuel also said that racism was ingrained in our culture in ways that had little to do with the actions of individual people. Near the end of the video, Emmie, Chip, and Joanna’s second-youngest child, asked the ex-NFL star if he’s afraid of white people.
Emmanuel laughed before offering a serious, heartfelt reply. He said that, while he’s not afraid of white people, he is cautious around them. He added that kids learn things at a young age that help shape who they are as adults.
The current Fox Sports 1 analyst said that the couple’s decision to let their kids take part in the conversation was a necessary part of creating something “life-changing.”