When teens at recent high school basketball game Flower Mound, Texas, held up two signs that together read "white power," the school district called the behavior "intolerable," and announced that it would ban signs at games and launch an "in-depth review regarding our procedures for the conduct for all players, students and attendees to promote good sportsmanship."
But in a searing, personal response, Dale Hansen, a 66-year-old longtime sports anchor for WFAA-TV in Dallas-Fort Worth, said that reaction wasn't enough.
He said bigotry was a longstanding problem in Flower Mound, telling viewers his granddaughter had heard fans there chant, "Welfare babies, do you know who your daddy is? Because we know ours."
Then Hansen, who's white, confessed that he himself was once "once of those kids" and that he'd had to unlearn his father's racism. Thus, he placed responsibility on the adults in the community for instilling the sentiments behind the "white power" sign in the teens — and for doing whatever it took to get rid of it.
"Kids have to be taught to hate," he said. "And it's our parents and grandparents and our teachers and coaches, too, who teach us to hate. Kids become the product of that environment; I was and they are."
He closed by encouraging his viewers not to give up hope for the perpetrators, saying, "That ignorance will be replaced someday by the wisdom they learn when they live in the real world, when they meet the people who don't look like them, didn't grow up the way they did. The people who make this life worth living."
It's not the first time Hansen has spoken passionately about bigotry. In February 2014, his speech slamming the hypocrisy of people who said it would be "uncomfortable" for openly gay football player Michael Sam to join an NFL team went viral.