Meghan, Harry and racism
17 March 2021
The right to the equality of colour, culture, gender, sexual preference, religionand especially race has been dealt a number of grievous blows in recent times.
An example is that the constant accusations of racism, sometimes, not always, where racism does not exist, are rapidly cheapening and damaging thefight against racism.
The British Royal Family (RF) is the latest victim of just such a smear byHarry and Meghan (H&M) in their much-watched television interview. A fewhundred million viewers were given misleading and false information.
Because one unnamed member of the RF wondered aloud about whether an unborn baby would be darker (and look more like its mixed-race mother) or lighter, (like its ginger-haired, white father) the whole RF has been smeared as being racist. If one member of my family supported the ANC, would it make ours an ANC family?
The smear is more grievous, given the obvious welcome Meghan received from the RF, (Harry expressed his pleased surprise at this), the fairy-tale wedding that followed, the Prince of Wales escorting Meghan down the aisle in the absence of her (white) father and the warm and appropriate treatment accorded to her (black) mother and thereafter to Meghan herself by the Queen.
Add to this the record of friendship between members of the family and people of colour stretching from Queen Victoria to Queen Elizabeth whose warm regard for members of the Commonwealth and for people like Nelson Mandela and Michelle Obama is well-known.
Compounding this hurtful smear of the RF was the outright lie (it can be nothing else and can surely not be ascribed to ignorance) to the effect that Archie, their son, was not a prince because he was of mixed race.
Surely Harry knows that the great-grandchildren who are in the direct lineof succession (William’s children) are styled prince or princess. Other great-grandchildren, 6 of them, out of a total of 9, about to be 10, are not princes orprincesses. This has nothing to do with their race, Archie’s race or that of his sister, to be born soon. The smug and suffering look on Meghan’s face and the incredulous look on Oprah Winfrey’s were both entirely misplaced.
Not said, was that Archie will become a prince when Charles ascends thethrone and that when Harry dies, Archie will become the Duke of Sussex. He could now if his parents chose, be known as the Earl of Dumbarton, one of Harry’s other titles.
Several other aspects of the interview were unsatisfactory or unbelievable. H&M left their active working Royal status and proclaimed their desire to be independent financially. Now they whine because they, both multi-millionaires,living in their $14m house, have to pay for their own security.
Unbelievable is the story that Meghan, an expectant mother contemplating suicide, was denied psychological help. If Meghan was unable to do it, surely Harry, as a good and concerned husband, could have instructed his private secretary to telephone any one of a hundred psychiatrists or psychologists in London to request that the professional come to their home to consult and counsel Meghan? One wonders if any of them would have refused thatopportunity.
Lies and improbabilities, all aimed at doing damage to the Royal Family, as they have, have also set back the fight against racism.
Douglas Gibson is a former opposition chief whip and ambassadorto Thailand. His website is: douglasgibsonsouthafrica.com
* This article first appeared in The Star