Academy Award-winning actor and Longview High School graduate Matthew McConaughey mentioned his alma mater in a video recently featuring him having an open conversation with a black man about race in America.
Former NFL linebacker and current Fox Sports 1 analyst Emmanuel Acho hosts the video, a second in a series called “Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man.”
On his YouTube page, Acho describes the series as “a safe place to have the uncomfortable conversations about race that many people have never been able to have.”
He said he wanted to remove barriers to have conversations with white America to inform about racism, systemic racism, social injustice and other issues.
The video begins with McConaughey asking how he can do better as a white man.
Echo responds that it is important to acknowledge there is a problem to be able to take ownership of the problem and to acknowledge what he calls implicit bias.
“You will have to acknowledge that you’ll see a black man, and — for whatever reason — you will view him as more of a threat the you will a white man,” Acho said. “Probably because society told you to.”
The pair cover a variety of topics, discussing the remaining effects of slavery in the country, backhanded compliments and how the upbringing of McConaughey and others can bring about hidden prejudice.
McConaughey mentions having gone to Longview High School, which he said was 50% black. He also talks about his wife, Camila, being a non-white immigrant, “but what prejudices might Ihave that I might not even be aware of,” he asks.
He calls those instances “white allergies” and said he is looking more closely at how he looks at situations to address them.
McConaughey asks Acho what he can do.
Acho suggests being proactive about equality, “maybe not just be being not racist, but by being anti-racist.”