WFAA sportscaster Dale Hansen this week said that the parents of children who brought racist "WHITE POWER" signs to a basketball game were ultimately responsible for their kids' behavior.
At a basketball game between Flower Mound High School and Plano East High last week, two student held up signs, when put together read, "WHITE POWER."
Students initially argued that the placement of the signs was a coincidence, but school officials later determined that students intended to send a racist message.
During his Monday evening broadcast, Hansen recalled that he had grown up in Iowa with a father who regularly used the N-word.
"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," he explained. "The one black family he knew were good people; all the others he didn't know? They were the bad people."
Hansen said that the "ignorance in that reasoning... twisted" his mind.
"Kids have to be taught to hate, 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," he pointed out. "The kids who hold the signs and chant their racist slurs — and it's not all of them; it never is — but their ignorance perpetuates the stereotype of all of us in Texas as a racist, ignorant people."
"But 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."
Hansen said that attitudes could change if people were called out on racism.
"I did, a long time ago. They can, too. But not if we try to defend what you can not defend," he concluded. "And not if we stay silent, and think taking their signs away is doing enough."
Watch the video below from WFAA, broadcast Feb. 23, 2015.