An American newsreader has earned praise for penning a heartfelt note encouraging people to recognise and overcome their racial bias.
Anchor Frank Somerville, who fronts KTVU’s evening bulletins, recounted the moment he realised he had his own prejudices - despite having an interracial family.
Somerville said he was “embarrassed” of the incident, but felt compelled to speak out on Facebook to encourage others to be aware of and tackle unconscious discrimination.
He recalled walking down the street and seeing a black man approaching a white woman, who was sitting alone at a bus stop.
“I’m going to watch this guy just to make sure he doesn’t do anything to the woman,” Somerville thought to himself.
But at that moment a boy ran to catch up with the man, and grasped hold of his hand.
“All of a sudden my whole view of the guy changed,” Sommerville wrote. “I realised he was a dad just walking down the street with his son.
“I realised that he was ‘okay’ and wasn’t going to do anything - I was so angry with myself.
“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 colour.
“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 %$#%$@ bias.”
What the %$#%$ is wrong with me.”
The TV host ended his note with a plea to others to recognise their unconscious bias, saying: “We all have them - And the only way to eliminate them is to realise that they are there in the first place.”
His post has moved many and been shared over 25,000 times on Facebook.
One top comment read: “A real man can admit when he is wrong, but a coward sweeps his faults under the rug and dose not deal with himself to become better, which is why we are still dealing with this issue.
“But you Frank are a real man - and I thank you for your honesty!”