Chip and Joanna Gaines reflect on raising their kids to be 'colorblind'

The parents of five and their kids sat down with Emmanuel Acho for a recent episode of "Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man."

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/ Source: TODAY
By Drew Weisholtz

While Chip and Joanna Gaines believe their children are "colorblind" and treat everyone the same regardless of skin color, they're now questioning whether that's best way to teach kids about race.

The Magnolia founders appeared on a new episode of “Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man” with Emmanuel Acho, bringing their five children — Drake, 15, Ella, 13, Duke, 12, Emmie, 10, and Crew, 1 — along for an eye-opening discussion about race.

“Our family wants to hear what you have to say, and the idea about having an uncomfortable conversation with a Black man, honestly, is exactly what we need for this exact time,” Chip Gaines said.

Joanna Gaines then recalled to Acho a moment where her husband asked their children whether they'd feel "more threatened" by either "a Black man or a white man" at a gas station.

"The kids really quick all said, 'No, why?' In their mind, they didn't even think about that," she said. "So later Chip and I were talking, and this whole idea of this colorblind thing came up, and Chip said, 'You know, I'm proud. I think our kids are colorblind.'"

After explaining that she and her husband "started pushing back" on the idea of colorblindness, Joanna Gaines then asked Acho, "What's the best way to move forward?"

“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 answered.

“I think that if we don’t see color, if we don’t expose our children to different colors, to different races, then it will be the same thing," Acho continued. "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. A Black person won’t be able to decipher between a white person that’s a racist and a white person who’s just white and may happen to be racially ignorant.”

Acho’s response gave Chip Gaines something to ponder.

“Our kids here, our five, and each one of them have a different look, each one of them have a different eye color," he said. "But, you know, each one of our kids have these uniquenesses and maybe to your point, it’s OK to highlight those things, you know?”

The Gaines kids also took part in the conversation.

“Are you afraid of white people?” Emmie Gaines, 10, asked Acho.

“I’m not afraid of white people,” he replied. “I am cautious of white people.”

Then, Drake Gaines, 15, stepped in, asking, “With all that's going on in the world, do you have hope for the future?”

Acho replied: “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."