After Charleston Shooting, Signs of Change in Race Conversation

Meet the self-professed "former racist" behind a growing online dialogue with a controversial idea.
7:48 | 06/26/15

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Transcript for After Charleston Shooting, Signs of Change in Race Conversation
We come to you from Charleston, across from historic emanuel ame church, scene of course of unspeakable horrific violence more than a week ago. An almost unimaginable humanity and grace ever since. Alleged mass murderer dylann roof sits in a jail a few miles away. On church grounds that have become America's chapel for kind of saying on race, one that is expanding in unexpected ways. ? Reporter: On this latest night of songs and sadness in Charleston, the body of the reverend clementa pinckney came home. Home to mother emanuel ame church. Two days of public viewing at the statehouse in Columbia. Home this evening to the church where he and eight others died and the community where all will be laid to rest. 21-year-old dylann roof is accused of killing them all. He was radicalized online. Now some are harnessing that power to make a change. Meet dixon white. Got a Ford f-150. I lock it. I'm redneck. Reporter: The man behind an unexpected youtube sensation. Many years I was a racist. And I didn't like blacks. I used to call them the "N" word and whatnot. Reporter: Dixon, a self-proclaimed former racist, a redneck originally from Tennessee. This country was built for white people. It's time us Americans, us white Americans, came to terms with that and realized, we're benefitting from that. Reporter: He says our country's big problem is white supremacy which he says is everywhere. If dylann roof had never, ever bought into white supremacy, would those people be alive? Yes, they would. Maybe it's time we stopped being lazy as white people and started taking some Responsibility. Reporter: After seeing his first videos resonate, white posted a follow-up asking viewers to take a racial healing chat. We're trying to get racial healing going on in our nation. Reporter: And record their own thoughts about race. We're trying to deal with the realities of white supremacy systemically and culturally in our country. Reporter: What happened next was stunning. I'm going to take the dixon challenge. It took a long time for me to realize there was a true struggle and pain in America. Reporter: People from all over uploading their own selfie videos, owning up to their own prejudices out loud. You hear it every day. "These damn Mexicans this, that." I've been told black people are thieves. Reporter: And pledging effort to do better. I've got a long way to go. I hated white people. Reporter: Promising to take responsibility. I'm fully aware that I have benefited throughout my life because of white privilege. And I take responsibility for that. Reporter: And to take action. This white supremacy That we have looming over America is not fair. Why people have to prepare to get messy and to have things be complicated and have things take a lot of time too work out. The people that don't stand up and say something are just as bad as the people who are actively being racist. Reporter: It became a digital conversation that's turned out to be a very real dialogue about racism. I'm telling you, blacks don't get the same education. Or the same attention in education. Reporter: Even though we know that white people know, it's still amazing to hear someone actually say, yeah we know, and we need to stand up for it. Reporter: Who is this dixon white? This new and unlikely voice in America's old and uncomfortable dialogue on race? I changed my name because I didn't want attention brought to me because what I'm doing is highly controversial and potentially dangerous. You don't want attention drawn to you? You've gotten death threats? Absolutely. I don't want to use my real name if I could avoid it. Reporter: Dixon isn't really dixon. His real name is jorge moran, a half-cuban businessman with a background in acting and film. Your critics have said you're not living that truth. Because you've presented yourself as someone that you're not fully. Right. And I was playing this many time tooth. But everything I've said is true. The only thing I did is I used a strong southern accent. Nothing else that I've said is not true. I wish people would pay me to do this. Reporter: Born and raised in Tennessee, moran insists he was a product of his environment. I was conditioned to use the "N" word. To just assume -- I did it blindly -- I assumed that people of color were need me. Reporter: His views on race started to change in part, he says, when he went to college in Georgia and saw what happened to his roommate, roy rutter. I would probably literally be stopped by the police probably once every two weeks, about. It's something that shouldn't happen. Reporter: Now lifelong friends rudder supports dixon, and others do too. I want to thank dixon white for starting this. Your videos are amazing. Reporter: 21-year-old whitney ballot, a nursing student from Orlando, says at first she was shocked by dixon's videos. She responded with this. I never thought that I would hear a white man say some of the things that you said. Reporter: In her video she shared bluntly how daily racism affects her. Every day at her job as a department store cashier. The older white people, even some younger white people, they won't look me in my eye. They walk in the door, I can say "Hello, welcome to," you know. They won't even -- they'll hear me, loud and clear. They won't acknowledge that I just spoke to them. It's like it kills them to say "Hi" to a black girl. As soon as my white co-worker says hello, "Hi, how are you doing today?" I think the racial healing challenge was a positive thing for me. I think it was a positive thing for a lot of people. It is a new way to have a dialogue. Reporter: His videos have also caused outrage, including anonymous death threats. What I've asked people to do is take on one of the most immoral things in our society. Which is racial and social injustice. Yeah, I'm redneck. Reporter: Some black activists say it's precisely dixon white's own white privilege that's making him popular. I think it's outstanding. But this whole idea that it took a white man for it to be taken seriously is very problematic to me. But he still is the beneficiary of white supremacy. What qualifies you, you think, to prompt this conversation? I don't know that I am qualified. Because I'm white. So I'm not living the reality of what it means to live as an oppressed person in this country. People of color have that reality. So what I am -- You're not having a rachel dolezal moment? No. You know, and that's -- what I am is somebody who's trying to educate my own. If there was a black guy who made this video, he would have had white people who would have just bypassed it and said, oh, we don't want to hear this, that's all they talk about, get over it. Reporter: We thought, what if we could bring this online conversation offline? Nice to meet you. You too. Thanks for coming. Reporter: Talking about racism face-to-face proved much tougher. It's like -- awkward and amazing at the same time. Reporter: Both agree posting videos isn't going to solve our country's race problem. It's a small thing. But obviously it means something to thousands of people. Breaking the silence. Reporter: It can keep the conversation going. The safety of cyberspace. A conversation that too often only occurs in the hours and days after a tragedy. A conversation on race president Obama will almost certainly touch upon when he gives reverend pinckney's eulogy tomorrow.

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

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