Y’all were shocked about Jay Ellis, but we’re assuming you already know Craig Melvin is married to a white woman, because he shows her and their kids on the “Today” show all the time. His wife Lindsay Czarniak is a sports journalist and the pair have been married since 2011 and have a six-year-old son Delano and three-year-old daughter Sybil. Melvin took to Twitter Tuesday to share that his wife had done a three part video with his mother Betty Jo Melvin they were treating as a conversation on race, without avoiding any of the awkward stuff.
Gotta love the support and also his willingness to be transparent and put himself out here in a climate that still isn’t the most tolerant.
The interview starts with Czarniak teasing her question about how Betty Jo reacted to learning Craig was dating her. We don’t really get to see the full response in this interview, instead the conversation shifts to Czarniak asking about how her mother-in-law grew up in South Carolina during Jim Crow:
“I walked to school as children would spit out of the windows on the bus,” she remembered.
“We were taught how to act a certain way and what not to do to provoke anybody. That’s how I grew up,” she said. “I also grew up with the KKK … and I grew up when the bathrooms said ‘Blacks only’ and ‘Whites only.'”
She also talked about how she saw police as a child and being raised to stay in her place. It’s eye opening for sure.
Here’s the first part of the interview:
Here’s part two, it mostly focuses on how Betty Jo raised her sons not to see color but still taught them how to interact with police. She also advises her daughter-in-law to start talking to her grandson Del about race soon because she thinks once he enters first grade he’s more likely to face questions and comments about looking different.
In part three we finally get to the question of Betty Jo’s reaction to learning her son was dating Carniak.
“He had to tell me that you were white,” Betty Jo recalled. “I don’t even know how it came up, y’all had been dating a while and it came up!”
“I told him that love has no color, that your skin color doesn’t matter, as long as you loved him and he loved you,” Betty Jo said. “The color of your skin has nothing to do with who you are on the inside.”
We love Craig Melvin’s mom and you can tell his wife is uncomfortable but pushing through to get to a good place of understanding. For the people out there who are in interracial relationships — have your partners had to have difficult conversations with your parents? How did they get through them?
For all the white folks confused about how to have awkward conversations with black people, you might want to take notes from Craig Melvin’s wife, Lindsay Czarniak. She’s diving right in there with no fear!