The Sussexes

The Duke of Sussex warns of unrecognised racism

Harry, Duke of Sussex
By Raph_PH - https://www.flickr.com/photos/raph_ph/41713280162/, CC BY 2.0, Wiki Commons

In an interview for British Vogue, the Duke of Sussex has said that unconscious bias can stop people recognising when their behaviour is racist. Prince Harry’s comments came in a conversation with leading anthropologist, Dr. Jane Goodall, for the September issue of the magazine which has been edited by the Duchess of Sussex.

During his chat, which is published in full on August 2nd, the duke and Dr. Goodall discuss whether children are born with the capacity to hate or whether that is something they learn to do as they grow up. As part of that conversation, Harry talks about unconscious bias, or attitudes and behaviours that people exhibit without conscious awareness.

The Duke of Sussex says “It’s the same as an unconscious bias – something which so many people don’t understand, why they feel the way that they do. Despite the fact that if you go up to someone and say, ‘What you’ve just said, or the way that you’ve behaved, is racist’ – they’ll turn around and say, ‘I’m not a racist.’

“‘I’m not saying that you’re a racist, I’m just saying that your unconscious bias is proving that, because of the way that you’ve been brought up, the environment you’ve been brought up in, suggests that you have this point of view – unconscious point of view – where naturally you will look at someone in a different way.”

In an Instagram post highlighting the interview, Sussex Royal commented that ” HRH and Dr. Goodall spoke candidly about many topics including the effects of unconscious bias, and the need for people to acknowledge that your upbringing and environment can cause you to be prejudiced without realising it. ”

The piece with Harry in the magazine also revealed that the Sussexes have very firm ideas about their future family life. The duke, while talking about protecting the planet and reducing demands for natural resources, mentioned that they would have no more than two children.

The interview, requested by the Duchess of Sussex, is part of the special ‘Forces for Change’ edition of British Vogue.



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Lydia is a writer, blogger and journalist. She's worked in the media for over twenty years as a broadcast reporter, producer and editor as well as feature and online writer. As well as royals and royal history, she's a news junkie and podcaster.