As a member of the British royal family, Prince Harry had no idea unconscious bias existed.
“Unconscious bias, from my understanding, having the upbringing and the education that I had, I had no idea what it was,” the Duke of Sussex admitted to activist Patrick Hutchison during a video call, as reported by British GQ on Monday.
Harry, who is sixth in line to the throne, revealed he has become more aware of the issue of racism, especially after marrying his wife Meghan Markle, 39, who is biracial.
“I had no idea it existed,” the 36-year-old continued. “And then, sad as it is to say, it took me many, many years to realize it, especially then living a day or a week in my wife’s shoes.”
Speaking from his home in Santa Barbara, Calif., Harry also shared: “No one’s blaming anybody. That’s the way I look at it. No one’s pointing the fingers. You can’t really point fingers, especially when it comes to unconscious bias. But once you realize 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.”
Since stepping back as senior royals and moving to North America, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have spoken out about issues they wanted to highlight, including racial inequality.
Harry stressed the importance of people educating themselves about how to be anti-racist.
“For me, it’s down to a more diverse perspective, otherwise you’re just perpetuating that bias,” he explained. “And I think one of the most dangerous things is people within position of power, whether it’s politics or whether it’s the media, where if you’re not aware of your own bias and you’re not aware of the culture within your system, then how are we ever going to progress? How are we ever going to get to that point where there is more fairness? Because it’s not a zero-sum game, right? Everyone benefits if the Black community gets treated the way they should be treated.”
Harry also revealed that watching the global protests, especially in the U.S., has further enlightened him.
“Every day is a learning process,” he shared. “And it’s not actually up for debate. These are the facts. This is what’s happening. And it’s been very interesting for me to sit through or live through this in America. But again, 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 looking at themselves in the mirror. Because as I said, this isn’t Black versus White.”
“… Now in 2020, we have protesters of every color, every background, every religion, every age,” he continued. “This is a global movement. The train has left the station. If you’re not on it now, then get on it because there’s so much that we can do. And 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.”
Harry also noted that social media is “the worst place to have these conversations” concerning race because everyone is more focused on sharing their own opinions and arguing with those who disagree with them, rather than trying to learn from others.
“These are conversations that need to be had across all corners of society and all platforms of power as well because that’s where the difference is going to be made,” said Harry. “Because people consume news and if that news is being given to you with an element of bias, then it’s almost impossible to break free of that and be able to recognize where that bias comes from. Because if that’s your world, that’s your echo chamber that you’ve created or has been created for you, how are you ever going to notice things that you’ve never noticed before?”
In August, a rep for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex confirmed to Fox News that they purchased a home in Santa Barbara, Calif.
"The Duke and Duchess of Sussex moved into their family home in July of this year," a spokesperson said. "They have settled into the quiet privacy of their community since their arrival and hope that this will be respected for their neighbors, as well as them as a family."
A source told Page Six, which first reported the news, that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex hope this is where their son, Archie, 1, can grow up and lead "as normal a life as possible."