I’m no fan of the Royal Family – for a whole variety of reasons – but this latest farrago involving Harry and Meghan is, I think, perhaps worthy of comment.
The often unenviable history of Britain and the role it played in ‘the empire’ makes it often appear intrinsically racist. Is racism the real reason behind this ‘announcement’ from the second in line to the throne? It is an unpalatable thought but one we really should consider.
It almost feels as if the British press (often a savage bunch) have managed to drive at least Meghan Markle out of the country and likely with her husband soon to follow. Having reached ‘mission accomplished’ they now have the temerity to pillory her and then further dare to suggest that it is they that have somehow jeopardised the existence of the Crown. In reality, the treatment meted out to the Duchess of Sussex has been disgraceful. From the moment she appeared on the scene her very being was sullied not for being ‘an actress’; not for being ‘an American’; but, ostensibly for being ‘of mixed race’ and, especially of African heritage.
The British empire began, effectively, in the 16th century and ran until a few years after the end of WW2. With the odd exception, most of Britain’s colonies had independent rule by the end of the 1960s. So, we are talking about an ‘institution’ that ran for not far short of 400 years. It survived almost entirely on the basis of white supremacy and for those with an interest in these matters the history of the Empire is peppered with shameful episodes of slavery and the deliberate recruitment of blacks, especially of Afro-Caribbean descent and placing them in low-paid, menial jobs and overtly discriminating against them in terms, certainly, of Education and Housing; both of which are still extremely problematic today.
It is an uneasy pill for many to swallow but there must be a clear argument that, as a country, were are institutionally racist and it is this that is at the heart of this Harry/Meghan debacle. The treatment towards this young woman, apparently because of her skin and heritage is nothing short of scandalous. Is it any wonder that she has sought to flee in speed to elsewhere?
I accept that those two, like many a ‘royal’ before them have not done themselves any favours. Their behaviour can seem aloof, haughty, indignant and certainly removed from normality and reality. However, there are many people this week who have played a very big role in driving that couple out of this country and have done so on the grounds of racial discrimination.
Shame on them.