Racist signs displayed by students at a Texas high school basketball game pushed a local sports broadcaster over the edge, prompting him to deliver a powerful speech on racism -- and how it should be fought.
Dale Hansen, sportscaster on the WFAA newscast in Texas, is no stranger to coming out strong on potentially divisive subjects. His support of Michael Sam, the openly gay football player trying to break into the NFL, went viral.
Now, after students in Flower Mound, Texas, held up signs reading "White Power," Hansen is taking aim at the way in which racism is instilled and continued in successive generations. He does so about relaying his own experience growing up with a dad who "used the 'N-word' like it was a proper noun."
"The one black family he knew were good people; all the others he didn't know? They were the bad people," Hansen explains. "The ignorance in that reasoning, if you think about it long enough, will twist your mind.
"And it twisted mine."
Hansen explains that he was a teenager before he was even aware that his upbringing was racist. He also contends that racism is a learned opinion produced by an environment -- kids, including those at the high school, aren't inherently racist, they just come from environs that are racist themselves.
The solution? Hansen says the best thing anyone can do is not be silent on the issue. Ignoring racism, he says, helps it to persist. His on-air speech should serve as an example.