I don’t need to watch the Harry + Meghan interview to understand some of the reactions I’ve seen online (although I plan on it).
“I never liked Meghan.” Oh really? You have that strong of an opinion on (checks notes) her cable television show Suits?
“Diana was sweet, Meghan is manipulative.” Hmm wonder where that comes from?
Let’s just address the racism in the room. To sum up Leslé Honoré’s powerful poem, it doesn’t matter how light Meghan Markle’s skin is, she is a Black woman in a very, very white family.
What’s more believable? That Meghan is this money-hungry manipulative monster or that the British Monarchy, whose power stems from colonialism and subjugation of Black and Brown people, is racist? If “the firm” was willing to chew and spit out Diana, a white woman from a prosperous family, do you really think they wouldn’t do the same – worse – to Meghan? Is it really that unbelievable that Harry won’t see the parallels and decide to leave Royal life in order to protect his wife and young son?
I think in America we truly can’t fathom someone stepping away from royalty. “She has castles and money! What does she have to complain about?” is another thing I’ve heard. Maybe we’ve watched too many Disney princess movies that stop at “and the prince married the fair maiden and they lived happily ever after.” Maybe if they ended the movie with “…and she was slandered by the British press, lost any semblance of privacy, and asked by her in-laws if her son would ‘look dark’ when born,” people would be singing a different tune. I think in a capitalist society we have a difficult time imagining someone turning down that kind of “financial security.” But it’s a false sense of security and it certainly doesn’t guarantee happiness.
Seriously, if your first opinion of Meghan is negative, examine why that is. Humble yourself to the ways in which unconscious bias influences everything.
Honestly I don’t care if Meghan is manipulative (although I don’t believe it), no one deserves to be treated like this. Also, why is it that the ire is directed on her and not her husband? This is whiteness at work. This is the othering and gaslighting that goes on in every facet of our society. We – allies – need to see it, acknowledge it, and push back. We need to believe Black women. We need to believe their pain.
But seriously, watching “patriots” bend over backwards to defend the monarchy – you know, the country we literally went to war with for Independence – is stunning.
Let’s do better. It’s a lame way to end this blog, but it’s all I got.