Pompeo says she's gotten flack from black and white people for her comments on race, before revealing she and Patrick Dempsey no longer speak.
"These are important conversations to have and if you're afraid to talk about it, that's a problem right there," Pompeo said at the top of the conversation, saying that it's up to parents to expose their children to "all different types of people" at a young age and "show them the differences in the world."
The actress explained that she grew up in Boston, which she admitted is "historically a very racist place." But being raised in that environment is actually what "drew" her to the black community. "I was like, what is it, all this anger, it made me so curious," she said.
As someone who often speaks out on black issues, Pompeo has seen her fair share of backlash from both sides of the aisle. She recalled getting flack from the black community after she used the term "reverse racism," something she said was fair. "They get a pass, they get to have a problem with whatever I say," she said, "All I can do is explain why I say it and what my experience is and if you want to come at me for that, you get that right, you get that pass."
The women also addressed the backlash Pompeo got after she called out A&E for planning a special on the KKK. "A&E walked it back, said we're sorry, we're pulling it. So I was like, black fist emoji, black power," explained the actress. The emoji sparked criticism. "I'm not appropriating culture. I'm just joining the fight," she said to Jada, defending her tweets. "If you call me a white bitch then isn't that judging me on the color of my skin? Why can't I help a victory for black people because I'm white?"
Pompeo said she's gotten heat from white people as well, who have attacked her for "celebrating brown people." She explained, "Me sticking up or celebrating brown people does not mean I am anti-white," she told the table, adding that white people "are threatened by my love of people of color of black culture."
Speaking of that love, she said she refuses to succumb to fear. "There's a section of the population that truly feels like opportunities are going to be taken away from them by people of color, by anyone that's different from them," she said. "People of color are magical and mystical and powerful and beautiful and spiritual and strong and excellent at what they do. There's so much power and talent."
After Jada, Willow and Adrienne all acknowledged that there's a "lack of trust" between black women and white women, Pompeo came through with some advice for everyone to take to heart. "One thing I do think that would be productive for everybody to do is just try to make different friends," she explained. "I have a lot of black friends and I have a lot of white friends, I don't see my white girlfriends have black people in their life, from what I can see."
"I feel like it's that authenticity that needs to happen, the willingness to break bread," said Jada, agreeing with her guest. Smith then opened up about dating outside of her race.
"I have dated some really wonderful white men, but it was interesting in the fact that you're dating someone who has no idea what oppression ... he's at the top of the food chain, he doesn't understand," she said. "It's a very hard thing for him to be able to relate to. It was always the factor in the relationship that made it break."
The episode ended on a completely random note, as they took some fan questions. The final Q, for Pompeo: "Are you and Patrick Dempsey still friends?"
"We haven't spoken since he's left the show, if that's ... I have no hard feelings toward him," she answered. "He's a wonderful actor and we made the best TV you can make together. That's a talented man right there. He did 11 amazing years."
"Typically, when people leave the show, they need to sort of find themselves, who they are without the show, because the show takes up so much of your life," she added. "You need that time to figure out who you are without the show, we have not spoke, but I will always have a place in my heart for Patrick."
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