Chip and Joanna Gaines, who found fame on the HGTV show Fixer Upper, are the guests on the latest episode of Emmanuel Acho’s web series Uncomfortable Conversations With a Black Man. The couple brought their five children along for a conversation that focused largely on the concept of color blindness.
Joanna, who is half-Korean, said “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.’ And then we started kind of pushing back on that.” She asked Acho directly “what’s the best way to move forward with this conversation?”.
Acho used a story about his sister being attacked by a dog in their childhood to explain how he sees people who claim to be “color-blind” to issues of race. He said that incident made him afraid of all dogs because he cannot tell one that is dangerous from one that is not.
“I think that if we don’t see color, if we don’t expose our children to different colors and to different races, that it will be the same thing as if a white kid who becomes an adult and won’t be able to decipher the difference between a black man that is a threat and a black man that’s just black,” Acho said.
The Gaines children were not just passive listeners to the conversation. Emme, the couple’s 10-year-old daughter, asked Acho if he was afraid of white people. Acho said that he appreciates kids’ honesty and curiosity and answered that he was cautious around white people.
“I think the beautiful thing of children and about children is that we learn things as kids and it develops us as adults,” Acho told Chip and Joanna Gaines, “which is why you all being here with your children is a powerful thing.”