We in the former colonies don’t generally get what it means to “be a royal” although we seem to love the weddings. Do we care because they are celebrities? Do we care because we wish fairy tales were true?
The New York Times has published five pieces about Meghan and Harry in less than a week so The Gray Lady clearly cares. But the most important article about them was written last week by Afua Hirsch: Black Britons Know Why Meghan Markle Wants Out.
The couple have been referred to as:
- “A Breath of Fresh Air”
- “Rogue Royals”
- “Adults Who Deserve to Live Their Own Lives” . . .
and countless other epithets, titles, and characterizations. It’s interesting that so many people have so many comments. But racism is the new feature in this royal story.
It’s not merely the “straight out of Compton” comment or the one about baby Archie looking like a chimpanzee. Racism is usually coded more subtly. We Western White People in the United States are everyday racists in the way we assume that People of Color live in poor urban neighborhoods and are inherently dangerous. We make racist comments without even realizing it. I know I do.
And it must be a nightmare to be followed around everywhere you go. Adele, Drake, and Cher understand this kind of imprisonment, but being “royal” ratchets it up beyond our imagination. And being a person of mixed race who married the ginger prince feels suffocating even as an observer.
Royal news is a blessed distraction from global disasters and our own political divides. You know what else is a distraction? Judging people based on their skin color which has been – sinfully – not just a distraction but a policy in the United States of America.
Leave Meghan and Harry to do what they need to do. Instead let’s focus on dismantling the everyday racism. I know I personally have a lot of work to do.
Image of Meghan Markle aka The Duchess of Sussex.