Emmanuel Acho, a former NFL linebacker who's now an ESPN analyst, launched a new social media show called "Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man" where he shares his perspective on racial issues.
“Dear white people, for days you’ve asked me what you can do to help. I’ve finally found an answer. Let your guard down and listen,” he wrote on both Instagram and Twitter along with a video of his first episode which is nearly 10 minutes long.
“Welcome to the first of hopefully many episodes of 'uncomfortable conversations with a black man.' In the midst of all this chaos in our world so many of y'all have reached out to me and by y'all, I mean white people reached out to me asking, 'How can I help? How can I join in? How can I stand with you?’ So I've created this for you,” Acho said at the top of the video.
The Texas native said in order to stand with black people one must have to be educated on issues that pertain to black people.
He said white people need to get fully educated “so that you can feel the full level of pain, so that you can have full understanding. I firmly believe that if the white person is your problem, only the white person can be your solution.”
“This is made for you, my white brothers and sisters, to increase your level of understanding so that you can increase your level of compassion and lead ultimately to change. So consider this a safe space to answer so many questions that I've seen from y'all,” he continued.
In the social media show, Acho addresses four questions: “Why are black people rioting instead of protesting peacefully?" "Why does white privilege exist?" "How come you can say the N-word and we can’t?" and "How come black people care more about white on black crime than black on black crime?”
When addressing the rioting, Acho said: “I don’t condone rioting and I’m sure you don’t either. Because for the most part, black people who are looting and rioting destructively are destroying their own homes. But when you think about the five different stages of grief, you come up to one stage: anger. Sometimes emotions don’t know their actions.”
He added: “I remember my mom when I was a child, she lost her sister. I just remember her yelling and screaming and throwing herself into a wall. Throwing yourself into a wall is not going to change anything. You are actually harming yourself. But sometimes pain and hurt, it does not know how to express itself.”
Acho then went on to answer all of the other questions in a similar fashion, using stories to connect to everyone.
The video has garnered over 5.7 million views on Twitter and 6.9 million views on Instagram. Many of Acho’s ESPN colleagues such as Jim Mora Jr. and Dan Orlovsky retweeted it along with Indy Car driver Pippa Mann and Kansas City Chiefs Defensive End Alex Okafor, as well as many others.
The athlete said he hopes the video is the first of many other “Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man.”
“The only way we can solve this issue,” Acho concluded, “is by exposure, education, compassion and empathy.”