WATCH: Sportscaster's Stirring Speech About High School Kids Who Held Up 'White Power' Signs
When a group of students held up “white power” signs during a high school basketball game this week, in Flower Mound, Texas, parents and school administrators quickly rushed to pull them down, but it was too late. Someone captured a photo of the moment, tweeted it and it soon went viral.
Though some parents defended the students’ actions as a “mistake,” most people rightfully condemned the students' behavior, but the best reaction came from Dale Hansen of WFAA-TV of Dallas/Fort Worth, who delivered a powerful talk about how he is not as upset with the young people as some would think.
“Maybe because I used to be one of those kids,” Hansen said during a broadcast this week. “I was raised in a small Iowa farm town that had only one black family in the county and raised by a man who used the n-word like it was a proper noun. I think I was 12 before I realized that the n-word actually wasn’t the first name of Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Elston Howard and so many more. My dad always referred to the black athlete and any person of color he didn’t know that way.”
Hansen continued, “But he loved the Mathews family. Henry and Billy Mathews were good people. The whole family was. My dad always said, ‘They were different.’ The one black family [my father] knew were good people; all the others he didn’t know, they were the bad people. The ignorance in that reasoning if you think about it long enough will twist your mind and it twisted mine.”
"Kids have to be taught to hate," Hansen said. "I was."
He expressed hope that the kids who held up the racist signs could unlearn their hatred, but first people need to admit that what they did was wrong.
Dale Hansen spoke out in defense of football player Michael Sam, who faced homophobic reactions after publically coming out.
Listen to the rest of what Hansen has to say about the "white power" incident: