People are sharing this dad's confession of his racial bias

Louis Dor
Monday 05 September 2016 11:40
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Picture: Frank Somerville/Facebook

A TV news anchor has written a Facebook status encouraging people to address racial bias, citing his own experiences as evidence.

Frank Somerville, a news anchor for KTVU related his experience walking down the street, exploring his feelings in a Facebook status:

I saw a white woman sitting at a bus stop at about 8pm.

And there was a black guy dressed kind of 'street' walking on the sidewalk in her direction.

(I say 'kind of' because he didn't look like a hoodlum. More like 'street casual.')

I was across the street and instantly thought to myself: 'I’m going to watch this guy just to make sure he doesn’t do anything to the woman.'

He realised, as a little boy then ran up and grabbed his hand, that the man was simply a father, walking down the street with his son.

Frank wrote he was "so angry" with himself, especially in the context of his family:

The man did absolutely nothing wrong. And yet I initially saw him as a possible threat. And let’s be honest. The main reason was because of his skin color.

The whole way home I was thinking to myself: 'I grew up in Berkeley. I have a black daughter. And yet I still have that %$#%[email protected] bias. What the %$#%$ is wrong with me.'

The status has been liked by 60,000 and shared by 25,000 people.

In 2015, the Pew Research Centre conducted an Implicit Association Test which found hidden bias among and between racial groups.

The test found that around three quarters of respondents, including in biracial groups, demonstrated some degree of implicit racial bias.

Around 20 to 30 per cent of people across the five groups in the study were found to have little or no bias toward the races they were tested against.

In short, it's culturally ingrained and highly likely that you'll have some racial bias.

And, as Frank wrote, the first thing a person can do is acknowledge that.

More: These two photos sum up America’s troubling attitude to race

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