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Emmanuel Acho Critiques ‘Volatile’ Media Climate While Promoting ‘Conversations With a Jew’ Book (Exclusive)

Emmanuel Acho Critiques Volatile Media Climate While Promoting ‘Conversations With a Jew Book 403
Sebastian Arriagada on behalf of CCG Social

Emmanuel Acho has never been one to shy away from an uncomfortable conversation.

In the new book Uncomfortable Conversations With a Jew, the football analyst, 33, collaborates with The New York Times best-selling author and activist Noa Tishby on a raw, honest back-and-forth dialogue about the rise of antisemitism and general misunderstandings and mischaracterizations of Jewish history and culture.

For Acho, it represented an opportunity to attempt to cut through the noise of the current media environment.

“I think we’re in a very volatile and, to some degree, senseless place, unfortunately,” Acho exclusively told Us Weekly. “But that’s why if everybody is zigging, try to zag. When everybody’s yelling, try to whisper. I think this conversation that Noa and I are having is hopefully a whisper that people will listen to.”

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Acho added, “The current landscape is completely unproductive. It’s people yelling about this, yelling about that. Who the heck is gonna listen?”

For Tishby, 48, Acho was a perfect partner for the bold writing experiment, which asks questions like “Did the Jews kill Jesus?” and includes a chapter called The Math Ain’t Mathing: Jews, Money, and Power.

“I didn’t even know that I was able to dream to have someone like Emmanuel from the Black community, who is such a powerful voice for change and for social justice,” Tishby told Us. “He reached out to me and asked to help our community. It was the quickest yes I’ve ever had.”

Despite bringing the idea for the book to the table, Acho — who is known for his digital series Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man – knew he would be met with backlash.

“I’ve been called a coon, told I was dancing for the white man,” Acho said. “People who don’t necessarily want to listen can be turned off and perturbed by those who do want to listen. I’ve already experienced it. I’m prepared to experience more of it. But ignorance really irks me. I would rather offend someone else than offend my own intellect.”

While the book presented an opportunity for Acho to learn about Jews and their experiences, the process was just as illuminating for Tishby.

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“We learned a lot about each other,” she said. “I learned about the Black community through Emmanuel, the Black experience. I thought I already knew, but we’re always learning.”

Emmanuel Acho Critiques Volatile Media Climate While Promoting ‘Conversations With a Jew Book 404
Jose Perez/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

Tishby added of Acho, “It was very interesting to see someone who is so open, so knowledgeable, so smart, so educated and still be like, ‘Oh, I didn’t realize that.’ That’s the reason to sit down and have these conversations. We don’t do this today. We yell at each other on Instagram or TikTok and then go back to our own cocoon.”

Ultimately, while the subject matter is undeniably heavy and prescient, Acho left the experience feeling hopeful about what the future might hold.

“The purpose of the book was not to convince you, the purpose of the book was to converse with you,” he explained. “That’s incredibly, incredibly encouraging. The book truly made me happy because it reminded me that it’s possible.”

Uncomfortable Conversations With a Jew is available for purchase now.

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