Prince Harry has admitted he did not know there was such a thing as unconscious racial bias before meeting his wife, Meghan Markle.
The Duke of Sussex said his privileged upbringing as part of the British royal family meant he had “no idea” unconscious bias existed, and as “sad as it is to say”, it took him “many, many years to realise it”.
“Unconscious bias, from my understanding, having had the upbringing and the education that I have, I had no idea what it was,” Harry said in a video chat with Black Lives Matter activist Patrick Hutchinson.
That all changed when he lived “a day or a week in my wife’s shoes”.
Now, he says “people within positions of power” are largely to blame for the unconscious bias that still exists in everyday society.
“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 said.
The grandson of the Queen, Harry was raised in the royal family and educated at the exclusive prep school Eton before serving in the British Army.
He married Meghan, a biracial US TV star, in 2018 at Windsor Castle, in a church filled with royalty and celebrities.
The couple stepped away from royal duties earlier in 2020, saying they wanted to become self-sufficient.
In August, they moved to a multimillion-dollar estate in California’s Santa Barbara County.
The prince described the social justice movement as a train that “has left the station” and said it was time for everyone to do their part to make the world a better place.
“You can’t really point fingers, especially when it comes to unconscious bias,” Harry said.
“But 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.”
Hutchinson, a personal trainer, was thrust into the spotlight in June when he was photographed at a Black Lives Matter protest in London carrying an injured counter-protester to safety.
Harry, speaking from his home in California, praised Hutchinson for his selflessness.
“You just came in, you did what was necessary and you saved a life,” Harry said.
“In doing so, you have changed the narrative for those protests.”
Hutchinson said he went to the protest to make sure the protesters didn’t do anything they would regret.
“It wasn’t just us down there protecting the young black protesters, it was us protecting everybody. And as it turned out, somebody on the other side,” he said.