Racism is a fact the world has forever struggled with and will continue to struggle with. The belief that one person or race is superior to another because of the color of their skin or something else they have cannot be entirely eradicated. Even children are brought up to think they are better than other children because they have something the other child does not. It is a fact of life. We can have formal institutional rules against it, tag legal punishments to it, but that can only solve the outward expression of racism albeit not effectively, America’s most recent racist attacks against Asians being an example among others. For as long as we have differences amongst ourselves as humans, we will always have racist claims. Even among minorities, who seem to be at the receiving end of racism, there are people who think they are better than those people of the same skin color but different tongue or tribe. As it stands, anyone could be a racist, given the ‘right’ circumstance.
People say, ‘I don’t see color.’ And it is laughable. Sounds exactly like what a racist would say to hide what they think. Acknowledging the differences, we have among ourselves is not the problem. Thinking and behaving like you think you and your ‘kind’ for lack of a better word, are superior than the next person who is different from you is what the issue is.
With respect to Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex’s claims of racism in the Royal Family, thinking about it, one should not be surprised. The Royal ‘Institution’ as she calls it was built on the blood and sweat of African slaves. The monarchy was in support of slave trade and actively participated in it. Queen Elizabeth I was connected to the slave trade and supported Captain John Hawkins, a known slave trader and pirate in the 1500s. Historically, the British Royal Family has been known to not only own but also monopolize the slave trade for over 150 years. Over the years and in recent times, members of the present monarchy have been recorded to have made racial slurs and gotten away with it.
The duke and duchess of Sussex revealed in January, 2020 that they would step back as senior members of the royal family, “after many months of reflection and internal discussions.” In the same month, the Sandringham summit was held in the Queen’s country home where Princes Harry, William, Charles and the Queen met to discuss the duke’s decision to step back. After which the Queen made an emotional statement about their support for Prince Harry.
In March. 2021, Meghan Markle, in an interview with Oprah revealed some things about her life among the royals and it was shocking to the world. Their wedding in May 19, 2018 was sensational. Meghan Markle being the first non-white person to be a member of the Royal family made the minorities feel that finally, they had an opening in the British royal family.
Her claims were that concerns were raised by members of the Royal family about her baby, Archie, Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor. They were concerns about his skin color before he was born, his mother being non-white. Archie, being the first member of the Royal Family of color is also not titled, even though he is still seventh in line to the British Throne. Meghan also claims that conventions were being changed for her son and he was being denied protection.
Meghan said that she had felt that she could not live any longer. She said that she had considered taking her own life. She also spoke of her husband’s support of her throughout these times and how much he was always there for her. Meghan had faced criticism from the British media ever since she and Harry began dating, through the wedding and marriage till the present. According to her, she and her family followed the rules they were given because the Royal family said they would protect her. They had also been victims of media scrutiny which most times were negative.
In her interview with Oprah, Meghan says one of the reasons Prince Harry and her decided to step back from Royal family duties was because a lot of damaging news about her had been spread by the British media which was damaging to her mental health. The negative media she received and the palace’s unwillingness to refute them contributed to the damage to her mental health and on top of that, she was told that she could not seek psychiatric help as it would not be good for the Institution. The duchess said, in her own words, “But I knew that if I didn’t say it that I would do it, and I just didn’t… I just didn’t want to be alive anymore.”
Through all of these, her utmost concern was for her husband whom she said she was ashamed to admit her mental state to, knowing how much he too had lost. She finally spoke to a friend of the Prince’s late mother, Diana Princess of Wales. She made mention of events where they had to be at, where they had to keep up a happy front.
Less than a day after the interview with Oprah, Piers Morgan, British journalist, who is known to be a vocal critic of Meghan said in an interview with Tucker Carlson Today that the Duchess and Harry Lied seventeen times during the Oprah interview. He also stormed off the set while a discourse on the issue was going on. Piers Morgan has been calling for the Duchess to name the member of the Royal Family who raised the issue about Archie’s skin color as Meghan withheld this information, saying that it would be damaging to the person. However, Prince Harry later clarified that the Queen and Prince Philip were never part of the conversations about the baby’s skin color. In the midst of all these, Prince Harry has remained supportive of his wife. They have both been supportive of anti-racism courses while the royal family has mostly been silent about the racism problem faced by minorities.