Former NFL linebacker Emmanuel Acho discusses race in America

The former football star sat down with Matthew McConaughey as part of his series “Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man.”
8:34 | 06/10/20

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Transcript for Former NFL linebacker Emmanuel Acho discusses race in America
are proud of you catty. Our "Gma" cover story. The new series from Emmanuel acho called "Uncomfortable conversations with a black man." First, take a look at his talk with Matthew mcconaughey. As ki do better as a human and as a man, how can I do better as a white man? You have to acknowledge that there is a problem. Yes. So that you can take more ownership of the problem. If there are two people with equal resumes. Studies show the person with the more white sounding man gets the call-back. You probably have several people under you. Are you a part of that problem? Are you looking at a resume saying, hey, they shoundz a little too hood for me? I think individually we must each fix the problem. I believe that individuals, they affect the houses and the house, they affect the cities and the city as feck the states and the nation affects -- Yes. If we can get those handled through conversations like this and I hope you're having these, then we can be at a point tofi everything. I don't think there is such a thing as equality in America. The wake of slavery is still hitting African-Americans. There is a wake that follows the although you may not still be driving it, there are African-Americans getting smacked by the wake left from slavery. Poor school systems, voter suppression, there is a wake so that's why things aren't equal. Only because there's still a wake. Don't feel guilty. Just acknowledge. I heard this term. White allergy. White allergy. White allergies that by where we were raised and how we were raised in our history, growing up, there's certain just imported obvious ways we're prejudiced in ways that we don't even understand. We got white allergies. May not even know it. The greatest white allergy that we say -- see played out, one of the greatest backhanded compliment. You're so pretty for a black girl. So that's too imply that being black -- It's for the black girl, for the black man becomes the allergy. You just gave me the backhanded indirect compliment. It was good with you're so pretty but you sound so smart. For this. The reason, mcconaughey, it is a white allergy is because white people don't recognize it. What can I do? What's my responsibility? People should take the responsibility proactively to say, you know what, maybe I'm a part of the problem. Maybe I can fix this issue. Not just by being not racist, but being anti-racist. Right. Maybe I can level the playing field and make it a fair fight. And Emmanuel acho is going to join us live right now. He has spark the quite a conversation. It is wonderful to see you and I have to tell you I've had many conversation, white friends have reached out to me and had enlightening conversations and black colleagues are hearing from their friends as well. Millions, millions have viewed your videos. What do you think that means and what has the reaction been to those videos? Well, firstly, thank you, robin. So gracious of you and glad it sparked change. What it means is that hearts are open. Minds are ready to turn, lives are ready to be changed. Contrition is on the hearts of so many people and by people, again, I mean my white brothers and sisters. Although it's been far too long at least the time appears to be on the horizon where we can see true change and the barrier, the racial divide between black people and white people will no longer exist, at least it won't exist at the same potency in which it existed before so I'm so overjoyed. When I see the responses to this video, 22 million people saw the first video and rover 2.5 million have already seen the second which debuted last night on my social media so, robin, I am thrilled, not at the publicity, but I'm thrilled because I'm truly seeing change in lives of America. And, Emanuel, more is caught than taught, what did you mean by that. Someone sent me an email. Maybe racism will die off with our ancestors. I said absolutely not. I said more is caught than is taught. What I mean is that it does not matter so much of what you hear someone say, what matters is what you see someone do. And so if you grow up in a household where racism exists your parents can tell you all men and women are created equal but if you hear undertones of racism that will be caught and delivered throughout generations so it won't -- racism won't die off with our fathers and our grandparents because more is caught than is taught so not only do you need to preach it, not only do you need to speak it, you got to live it out. You talked about something important with Matthew and say you get this question a lot. What is the correct or better term to use, black or African-American? So, it's black as opposed to African-American when we're referring to black people because, remember, not all black people are African-Americans. They're Jamaican, cukens in America, both of whom are black but not African-American. They're also several African-Americans, several black people who don't refer to themselves as African-American because they don't identify with their African heritage. Remember, black is just an adjective. Culturally identifying one's skin color. Think about this and never said it before. The fact that so many of my white friends, brothers and sisters are hesitant about using the word "Black," imagine what that means subconsciously about how we felt about black people over the course of our lives. Imagine if we think that black is in some, way, shape or form a derogatory term, imagine what that has told us. Imagine what his exuded and permeate permeated. Such a change and evolution. I'm a little older than you are and whifls being brought up we were told African-Americans showed more respect. You provide good explanation of why it's not sufficient. But where should we take the conversation next? It has to be taken into action. What I mean by that is it's not enough to now just allow certain racisms to exist. It's not enough to just listen. My goal was to start a dialogue so that my white brothers and sisters can listen but now they need to speak because my white friends, they can I will filtrate spaces that a black man like me can never be. They will be in group message, family reunions and family picnics, they need to and my white friends need to speak out and call out Tse sort of racist ideologies because I'm encouraged that our world will continue to co-exist but it starts with education and starts with exposure and continues as Yeah, just hearing you describe about using the terminology black, I got chills because I understood it on a completely different level. You talk about not just being not a racist but being anti-racist. What actions can we, should we be taking? So, when you say not racist that's simply to say I don't see the "N" word. I don't own slaves. That's not enough anymore. The actions you can take is when you're in your friends' circles and hear someone say he is not even black. He doesn't talk like he's black or my personal favorite you're like an oreo, white on the inside and black on the outside. Call that out. That is now being anti-racist. It's not enough to personally not say the "N" word or not think bad things about black people but when you hear it, speak on it. We need a society the people unaffected care just as much about the injustice as the people that are affected. Amen, Emmanuel acho. Thanks very much for your time

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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