Academy Award-Winner, Matthew McConaughey joined Emmanuel Acho for episode 2 of Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man. During their frank discussion about race and social injustice, McConaughey pondered how to make a difference as a white man in America.
Matthew McConaughey shared his inspiration for joining the show
Fox Sports 1 analyst and former Cleveland Browns linebacker, Acho, uses his platform to educate and enlighten viewers about racism. As a special guest on the program, McConaughey revealed what motivated him to join the conversation.
“Your last episode of Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man, I watched that, and it gave me new context,” McConaughey explained. “It gave me some new insight. It made me think of the why, not the how, which I think is a lot of what you’re unpacking. And hopefully, we can unpack today the why.”
Matthew McConaughey asked Emmanuel Acho how to ‘do better’
During their chat on Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man, McConaughey posed a challenging series of questions. He asked, “How can I do better as a human? How can I do better as a man? How can I do better as a white man?”
Acho admitted that McConaughey put him on the spot. Still, he provided two stepping-stones toward positive change. He first encouraged McConaughey to acknowledge that there is a problem and to take ownership of it. Then, Acho urged him to acknowledge implicit bias.
Matthew McConaughey and Emmanuel Acho considered the meaning of equality
In the nearly 13-minute episode of Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man, McConaughey and Acho pondered what equality really means. McConaughey began with the following considerations:
“Equality. The definition of equality. What equality is, and what is equality not? It’s been an American issue forever, and we continue to work and grow and evolve and debate what the definition of equality should be. [There’s] unilateral equality. There’s diverse equality. It’s a topic that I don’t know that we can answer right now, but I’d love to hear your opinion on it.”
Without hesitation, Acho responded, “I do not think that there is such a thing as equality in America. The wake of slavery is still hitting African Americans. When you get on a boat, whether you’re in Lake Austin here 10 minutes from here or anywhere in the ocean, if you get on a boat, there is a wake that follows the boat. And although you might not still be driving the boat, there are African Americans getting smacked by the wake left of slavery.”
Acho explained that the “wake” manifests as systemic injustice, poor school systems, and voter suppression. “There is a wake,” he said, “and so that’s why things aren’t equal.”
This ‘Uncomfortable Conversation with a Black Man’ ended on a hopeful note inspired by Langston Hughes
After a constructive chat with Acho, McConaughey offered sage words written by the American poet, Langston Hughes. He recited the following prose from Hughes.
“O’ let America be America again
The land that never has been yet
And yet must be – the land where every man is free.”Langston Hughes “Let America Be America Again”
“That’s the dream of America,” mused McConaughey.
Acho beamed, “That’s the realest thing that I’ve truly heard because it’s acknowledging America, we’ve never been what we’ve aspired to be. We can be, but it’s going to take this, and it’s going to take those watching this to imitate this with open hearts, ready to listen, ready to learn, and ready to do.”