Across the Pond

British White Supremacy Simply Can’t Leave Meghan Markle Alone

British racism is more sophisticated than the American brand. It’s insidious. it’s like death by a million microaggressions.

Meghan Markle on October 31, 2018 in Rotorua, New Zealand. Photo: Samir Hussein/WireImage/Getty Images

Meghan Markle has left Britain, paid back taxpayer’s money, conceded all of her titles and privileges, but she is still vilified by much of the British media. Her resistance to anti-Black racist aggression challenges their efforts to preserve White supremacy. Meghan’s resistance doesn’t allow the White ignorance and dominance needed to maintain the wider structures of White privilege.

I never thought Meghan Markle joining the royal family represented a changing institution in a changing British society. I saw Meghan’s inclusion as a straight hustle for the royal family to make themselves relevant for another hundred years and to justify living off of British taxpayer’s money while maintaining and contributing to systems of inequality.

You see, Prince William, Harry’s elder brother and second in line to the British throne, married a “commoner” when he tied the knot with Kate Middleton. Kate’s father was a pilot, and her mother was a flight attendant who then went on to run a successful small business. This union broke the class glass ceiling in the royal family and then later, Meghan’s inclusion as a biracial woman who identifies as Black allowed for the so-called “public acceptance” of racial diversity, which made the Royal family relevant to millions of people of Black African descent around the world.

Meghan was not the first mixed-race woman who has married into the British Royal family. Queen Charlotte, whose name two centuries later lives on as a result of the city in North Carolina, was the first. She was a royal of German and African descent. Meghan is Black and a commoner and American and a divorcee and a feminist who decided she would not be hustled by the royal family when what was largely on offer was characterized by misogynoir and anti-Black racist and sexist attacks on her personhood.

A BBC presenter was fired for tweeting a picture of a chimpanzee and likening it to the couple’s son, Archie. Other commenters referred to her as having “exotic DNA,” and how she was “(almost) straight outta Compton.” Even Princess Michael of Kent — who is married to the queen’s first cousin — wore a blackamoor brooch when she met Meghan for the first time.

Pregnant with her second child, Meghan is still being vilified by the British press. Sadly, she is being punished for being saditty or rather being aware that being of African descent and from a lower social stratum does not invalidate her inalienable right to be treated with dignity and respect.

The writer R. S. Locke is inclined to agree. She says that Meghan, “because she lacks the birth and blood prerequisites, she’s considered unworthy. Because she’s proud of her own heritage and regards herself as equal to others at the top of the pyramid, she’s considered ungrateful.”

You see, British racism is more sophisticated than the American brand. It’s insidious. It’s like death by a million microaggressions.

For instance, a few days ago, the royal family decided to play defense ahead Oprah’s sit-down interview with Meghan and Harry on Sunday. A random article dropped, accusing Meghan of bullying aides three years ago, (which she denied in a statement). And the conservative newspaper the The Times reported that Meghan wore a pair of earrings back in 2018 that were allegedly gifted by Saudi Arabia’s leader, Prince Mohammed bin Salman. That prince was recently identified by U.S. intelligence as the person responsible for the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. See what they did there?

Defenders of Meghan have taken to social media to log the disapproval of her treatment. Well-known British lawyer Nafir Afzal took to Twitter to question a TV show that had, “five White men discussing how Meghan Markle killed Khashoggi with her earrings, bullied people like the home secretary, and has scared the living daylights out of the establishment without having said anything — yet.”

Royal biographer Omid Scobie told The Independent he “would love to occasionally see the tears and energy these morons spend on a non-working royal used on Prince Andrew’s horrendous mess.” Some background: The palace has failed to honor the FBI’s repeated request to question Prince Andrew (Harry’s uncle) and his undeniable links to American pedophile Jeffrey Epstein.

In any event, I’m glad Meghan left. She exemplified Nina Simone’s sentiment: “You’ve got to learn to leave the table when love’s no longer being served.”

I hope the Oprah interview, scheduled to run on Sunday, is a cathartic experience for Meghan and Harry and it offers an alternative, love-based narrative to that hate spewed by much of the British media.

Bacchanalist🧨, Journalist🥇, Filmmaker 🎬, aspiring vegan 🌱 with 👸🏾Feminist politics who praises Rastafari🔥 & studies no Evil💕.

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Momentum is a blog that captures and reflects the moment we find ourselves in, one where rampant anti-Black racism is leading to violence, trauma, protest, reflection, sorrow, and more. Momentum doesn’t look away when the news cycle shifts.