In a new interview with ‘Color Of Change’ president Rashad Robinson, Prince Harry spoke passionately about systemic racism and what it will take to bring the world together. Robinson is an American Civil Rights leader and posted the 10-minute long conversation on his Instagram page @Iamrashadrobinson. Harry explained the two have been talking for the last couple of months about racism since the protests in America began and the murder of George Floyd.
According to Harry, Robinson and ‘The Color of Change’ have been leading the conversation about what needs to be done to dismantle systematic racism. The term systemic racism or “institutional racism” was first used in 1967 by Stokely Carmichael and Charles V. Hamilton in Black Power: The Politics of Liberation. It was later defined in the UK‘s Lawrence report (1999) as: “The collective failure of an organization to provide an appropriate and professional service to people because of their colour, culture, or ethnic origin.” In the conversation, Harry and Robinson make a call for action and ask society to move from caring about something to doing something. In Harry’s words, “to be able to act, rather than just say.”
Robinson calls the current racial climate “the opportunity to make real change.” And reminds everyone that when we look back at this difficult time in history the question we will ask ourselves won‘t be “what did we think about what was happening, but what did we do about it.” The two also discuss that charity is not enough or a substitution to fix racism and structural problems. Harry explained that “charity is crucial in so many areas” but “the problem already exists, it’s already too big… it’s basically like bringing a bucket of water to a forest fire. We have to go to the root of the problem, to the source of the problem and actually fix it there.” According to Harry, to fix our problems with racism “it’s going to take every single one of us. This is not down to the black community. This is down to every single person that is on the planet right now.”
At one point in the conversation, Robinson points out that Harry is always bringing up compassion and empathy and asks where it came from and what made him choose to live his life like that. Harry let out a sigh before explaining “I don’t think it comes as a choice, I think every single one of us, every single human being is born with compassion and empathy as part of their structure. Just like a lot of people say, you‘re not born to hate, that becomes a learned behavior.” According to Harry, “compassion and empathy are... two of the biggest tools to be able to bring the world together.”
This is not the first time that Harry has opened up about racial injustice, and his public outcry has been described as “Harry’s journey to wokeness.”