The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s new strategist has claimed all white people are “rife with internalised racism and unconscious bias.”
Genevieve Roth said she realised she was “racist” after marrying her black husband.
“Race is an issue in our marriage because as a white woman of privilege, I have racist tendencies written in at a cellular level,” she said.
The comment echoes an observation made by Prince Harry, who said his own upbringing and education meant he had been ignorant about the widespread nature of racism until he met his wife.
Ms Roth founded Invisible Hand, a “female-led, diverse team” based in New York that is now advising the couple’s Archewell Foundation.
She has written about how it was only when she married her husband, Jordan, that she realised the world treats her differently to him.
“As a white American woman, I have too often made the mistake of considering racial injustice as something happening to black people that I needed to empathise with and fight for, instead of understanding it as something that I myself was creating and responsible for,” she told Australian social enterprise Primer.
Alaskan-born Ms Roth wrote in Good Housekeeping last year: “It does not matter how many marches I have planned or how many progressive candidates I have campaigned for or how many times I have chanted Black Lives Matter in the streets: I am rife with internalised racism and unconscious bias.
“And to all of the non-black folks reading this, we need to get clear on something: So are you.”
Similarly, Prince Harry told GQ magazine last year: “Unconscious bias… having the upbringing and the education that I had, I had no idea what it was. I had no idea it existed.”
“Sad as it is to say, it took me many, many years to realise it (existed), especially then living a day or a week in my wife’s shoes.”
He said it would take “every single one of us” to instigate change.
Archewell’s partnership with Ms Roth, a former magazine journalist who worked on Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, was announced this week as the foundation revealed a number of staff changes.
Catherine St Laurent, the Sussexes’ chief of staff and executive director of Archewell, has “transitioned to an advisory role” 11 months after starting the job.
She has been replaced by James Holt, the couple’s UK spokesman, while Ben Browning, the Oscar-nominated producer, will be the foundation’s head of content.