“I have a confession to make. It’s embarrassing. Especially because I have an interracial family. And because it shows that I still have bias,” writes Frank Somerville, an evening anchor at KTVU who often sparks honest and important discussions about parenting and race on his Facebook page. Although the father of two daughters – one of which is adopted and black – typically shares other people’s stories, he took to Facebook on Monday night to share one of his own.
Somerville was walking past a bus stop around 8 p.m. when he saw a white woman sitting alone and a black man walking toward her on the sidewalk. He decided to keep an eye on the woman to make sure nothing happened to her, when out of nowhere a young boy ran to catch up to the man and grabbed his dad’s hand. Somerville admits that when he realized the man was a father, his whole perspective changed instantly.
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 %$#%$@ bias. What the %$#%$ is wrong with me?”
And on top of that I just had a talk with my daughter about how people might treat her differently from her “white” sister based solely on her skin color. And now here I am doing the EXACT same thing.
Somerville is vulnerably sharing his story to show how strong biases can be and says the only way to eliminate them “is to realize that they are there in the first place.”