When Prince Harry met with Dr. Jane Goodall earlier this month, the two had a candid conversation about racism, prejudice and the importance of caring for the environment. That interview is part of the September issue of British Vogue, guest-edited by Duchess Meghan.
In their talk, Harry said he believes children are “taught to hate” and that they are born without prejudice.
“When you start to peel away all the layers, all the taught behaviour, the learned behaviour, the experienced behaviour, you start to peel all that away and at the end of the day, we’re all humans,” the Duke of Sussex said.
“Especially if you get little kids together, there’s no difference!” Jane replied. “They don’t notice, ‘My skin’s white, mine’s black’ until somebody tells them.”
“But again, stigma is handed down from generation to generation, your perspective on the world and on life and on people is something that is taught to you,” Harry continued. “It’s learned from your family, learned from the older generation, or from advertising, from your environment.”
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Earlier this summer HRH The Duke of Sussex met with world renowned ethologist Dr. Jane Goodall for an intimate conversation on environment, activism, and the world as they see it. This special sit-down was requested by The Duchess of Sussex, who has long admired Dr. Goodall and wanted to feature her in the September issue of @BritishVogue, which HRH has guest edited. HRH and Dr. Goodall spoke candidly about many topics including the effects of unconscious bias, and the need for people to acknowledge that your upbringing and environment can cause you to be prejudiced without realising it. The Duke described that “[when] you start to peel away all the layers, all the taught behaviour, the learned behaviour, the experienced behaviour, you start to peel all that away - and at the end of the day, we’re all humans.” • Through @RootsandShoots the global youth service program @JaneGoodallInst founded in 1991, she has created and encouraged a global youth community to recognise the power of their individual strength – that each day you live, you can make a difference. Photos: ©️SussexRoyal / Chris Allerton #ForcesForChange
Harry then went on to ask Jane what her work has taught her about humans. Jane said her research has shown her human beings have “inherited aggressive tendencies.”
“It’s the same as an unconscious bias – something which so many people don’t understand, why they feel the way that they do,” Harry responded. “Despite the fact that if you go up to someone and say, ‘What you’ve just said, or the way that you’ve behaved, is racist,’ they’ll turn around and say, ‘I’m not a racist.’
“I’m not saying that you’re a racist, I’m just saying that your unconscious bias is proving that, because of the way you’ve been brought up, the environment you’ve been brought up in, suggests that you have this point of view – unconscious point of view – where naturally you will look at someone in a different way. And that is the point at which people start to have to understand.”
“Kids are taught to hate,” Jane replied. “They are actually taught to hate.”
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We are proud to announce that Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Sussex is the Guest Editor for the September issue of @BritishVogue. For the past seven months, The Duchess has curated the content with British Vogue's Editor-in-Chief Edward Enninful to create an issue that highlights the power of the collective. They have named the issue: “Forces for Change” For the cover, The Duchess chose a diverse selection of women from all walks of life, each driving impact and raising the bar for equality, kindness, justice and open mindedness. The sixteenth space on the cover, a mirror, was included so that when you hold the issue in your hands, you see yourself as part of this collective. The women on the cover include: @AdwoaAboah @AdutAkech @SomaliBoxer @JacindaArdern @TheSineadBurke @Gemma_Chan @LaverneCox @JaneFonda @SalmaHayek @FrankieGoesToHayward @JameelaJamilOfficial @Chimamanda_Adichie @YaraShahidi @GretaThunberg @CTurlington We are excited to announce that within the issue you’ll find: an exclusive interview between The Duchess and former First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama, a candid conversation between The Duke of Sussex and Dr Jane Goodall, inspirational articles written by Brené Brown, Jameela Jamil and many others. Equally, you’ll find grassroots organisations and incredible trailblazers working tirelessly behind the scenes to change the world for the better. • “Guest Editing the September issue of British Vogue has been rewarding, educational and inspiring. To deep dive into this process, working quietly behind the scenes for so many months, I am happy to now be able to share what we have created. A huge thanks to all of the friends who supported me in this endeavour, lending their time and energy to help within these pages and on the cover. Thank you for saying “Yes!” - and to Edward, thank you for this wonderful opportunity.” - The Duchess of Sussex #ForcesForChange
Harry and Jane went on to discuss the environment and why taking care of the Earth is important. He said it is easy to look at climate change as something that will happen, when humans are starting to see the effects of it right now.
“What we need to remind everybody is: these are things that are happening now,” he said. “We are already living in it. We are the frog in the water and it’s already been brought to the boil. Which is terrifying.”
“Happening and happened,” Jane replied. “It is terrifying. Especially as you’ve just had a baby.”
Harry also commented that he and Meghan want to have “two children, maximum” due to his commitment to fighting climate change.
“I’ve always thought: this place is borrowed,” he said. “And, surely, as intelligent as we all are, or as evolved as we all are supposed to be, we should be able to leave something better behind for the next generation.”
In October, Harry and Meghan will take a trip to South Africa, while Harry will head to Angola, Malawi and Botswana separately. It’s not known what Harry and Meghan will be doing while they are in South Africa, but Harry is said to be working expanding his Sentebale charity in Malawi, and the duke will learn more about Angola’s work clearing landmines.