PRINCE Harry says he didn’t know unconscious bias existed until he married Meghan Markle and ‘walked a day in her shoes’.
In a new interview, the royal said it wasn’t until he was “living a day or a week in my wife’s shoes” that he was able to understand the term.
The Duke of Sussex, 36, spoke about racism in an interview with BLM activist Patrick Hutchinson for GQ magazine.
Mr Hutchinson made headlines earlier this year when he carried a white protester over his shoulder to safety in London during a stand-off.
The prince said:
Men are especially struggling during lockdown – with many in “a really dark place”“Everyone gets themselves into trouble at some point” – but what matters is “how you learn from it”Many people “don’t feel as though things are progressing as fast as they should be” – and “we need to take a long, hard look at ourselves”White people still get it wrong when talking about race – adding: “People are desperately trying to get it right – and even when trying to get it right, get it massively wrong”And he and Meghan reached out to Ashley Banjo after Diversity’s BLM-inspired dance routine resulted in thousands of Ofcom complaints
And Prince Harry admitted that his “upbringing and education” did not equip him to understand the issue of unconscious bias towards groups of people.
He said: “Once you realise or you feel a little bit uncomfortable, then the onus is on you to go out and educate yourself, because ignorance is no longer an excuse.
“And unconscious bias, from my understanding, having the upbringing and the education that I had, I had no idea what it was.
The prince says his “upbringing and education” didn’t help him understand the concept of an unconscious social stereotype[/caption]
“I had no idea it existed.
“And then, sad as it is to say, it took me many, many years to realise it, especially then living a day or a week in my wife’s shoes.”
Unconscious bias is having prejudiced views about a certain group of people, such as of people from an ethnic minority, without being aware of it.
Mr Hutchinson said it’s important for people to “be willing to listen and have the conversation”.
“It is an uncomfortable conversation. And I totally get it, especially for a white person,” he said.
“Who wants to be told that they may potentially have a little bit of racism in in them?
“[How do you] tell the working-class white person that’s worked really hard all their life to get where they are that they’ve had a leg up?
“They’re not going to have that and this is where the problem lies.”
And he said there are “white people who are struggling in impoverished areas, along with black people, who don’t get the opportunities and the chances that others might get”.
The story behind the photo
An image of Patrick Hutchinson lifting an alleged far-right protester to safety has been seen by millions around the world
The dad and grandad lifted protester Bryn Male to safety during London race violence in June.
Mr Male, a former policeman from Basingstoke, Hampshire, was hurt in a brawl during the protest.
He had allegedly joined thousands of people who went to the capital to ‘defend’ statues.
During the day, some thugs attacked police and made Nazi salutes and racist gestures towards anti-racism protesters.
Mr Male was confronted near Waterloo Station and was allegedly heard telling activists: “F*** Black Lives Matter.”
During a row, he was knocked to the ground before Mr Hutchinson, a 6ft 1in personal trainer from Croydon, South London, lifted him up and carried him to safety over his shoulder.
Mr Hutchinson was described as representing “the best of human behaviour” by MPs, and Boris Johnson called his actions ‘heroic’.
“We need to just share this around a little bit more and be a bit fairer, give other people a chance in society,” he added.
Speaking from his mansion in LA, the prince said he feels optimistic for the future.
“There’s lots of work to do. But I genuinely feel as though the world is actually very much heading in the right direction,” he said.
“But, inevitably, a lot of the pain has to come to the surface before we can actually turn the page and start the new chapter.”
And he thanked “guardian angel” Mr Hutchinson, who made headlines around the world when he was pictured rescuing a rival white activist during clashes in London.
“Millions, if not hundreds of millions of people – will have seen that photo of you giving the fireman’s lift to the guy at the protests in London,” the prince said.
During a long chat between the two men, Prince Harry said he and Meghan had reached out to Ashley Banjo after Diversity performed a Black Lives Matter-inspired routine on Britain’s Got Talent.
Ofcom received more than 24,000 complaints after the routine. But the Duke said the UK needs to “truly celebrate diversity”.
“You talk about unconscious bias to start with, which you and I both know is a huge thing globally,” Harry said to Mr Hutchinson.
“But, yes, it exists in the UK as well. But I think with the Ashley Banjo stuff, we – Meghan and I – spoke to him shortly after that whole process, that whole moment in his life and Diversity’s life.”
The royal spoke movingly of being a dad to Archie, one.
“Being a dad myself, the whole point in life, I guess, for me, is to try to leave the world in a better place than when you found it,” he said.
“It’s going to take every single one of us to really change things and anyone that’s pushing against it really needs to take a long, hard look at themselves in the mirror.”
The royal also asked about Mr Hutchinson’s experiences of lockdown – and said the situation has left many men suffering in silence.
Meghan Markle recently said social media is ‘an addiction’ during a 15-minute speech at an online conference [/caption]
The couple have – together and individually – given a series of interviews during lockdown[/caption]
“For men who are isolated by themselves this can be a really dark place, unless you know the different solutions or different distractions that you can put into your life: whether it’s going for a great walk or a run or just doing something that keeps you mentally and physically fit,” he said.
The royal couple have given a series of interviews on topics including race and sexism since their marriage.
In July, they declared that Brits must acknowledge the Commonwealth’s “uncomfortable” past.
During the video chat, Prince Harry appeared to reference the British Empire, adding: “There is no turning back now”.
“When you look across the Commonwealth, there is no way that we can move forward unless we acknowledge the past,” he said.
“So many people have done such an incredible job of acknowledging the past and trying to right those wrongs, but I think we all acknowledge there is so much more still to do.
“It’s not going to be easy and in some cases it’s not going to be comfortable, but it needs to be done, because, guess what, everybody benefits.”
Days before, he apologised for “institutional racism” as he said it had “no place in society”.
He said: “My wife said recently that our generation and the ones before us haven’t done enough to right the wrongs of the past. I too am sorry.
“Sorry that we haven’t got the world to the place where you deserve it to be.”