Chip and Joanna Gaines are learning more about how they can approach the topic of race in their family.
During a Wednesday appearance on Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man, the Fixer Upper alums were joined by all five of their kids — sons Crew, 2 this month, Duke, 12, and Drake, 15, plus daughters Emmie Kay, 10, and Ella Rose, 13 — to speak with host Emmanuel Acho about how to talk to their children about race in the wake of George Floyd's death and the ongoing Black Lives Matter movement.
"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?' " said Joanna, 42.
"And the kids, really quick, all said, 'No, why?' They didn't even think about that," she adds. "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?" she asked Acho, 29.
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Acho goes on to discuss how racism is "so ingrained into our culture" regardless of intent from specific individuals, giving examples of why schools named after confederate generals and statues still standing in their honor are problematic.
Near the end of the video, Emmie asks Acho a question that makes him laugh before giving it the serious answer the second-youngest Gaines child is looking for: "Are you afraid of white people?"
"I'm not afraid of white people — I'm cautious of white people," he explains. "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."
"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," Emmanuel continues, "because this conversation could be life-changing — and not necessarily for their lives, but for the life of someone who looks like me."
To help combat systemic racism, consider learning from or donating to these organizations:
- Campaign Zero (joincampaignzero.org) which works to end police brutality in America through research-proven strategies.
- ColorofChange.org works to make government more responsive to racial disparities.
- National Cares Mentoring Movement (caresmentoring.org) provides social and academic support to help black youth succeed in college and beyond.
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