The big narrative following Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s split from the Royal Family is that Britain’s racism played a role in their decision.
Over at CNN, Lisa Respers France argued that Britons have been sending a message to Meghan Markle since the day she announced her engagement to Harry: “You aren’t one of us, and you aren’t welcome.”
“Meghan, a biracial, divorced American actress, was far from what many envisioned as a fairy-tale match for a beloved member of the British royal family,” wrote Respers France. “While many in the UK welcomed her, the British tabloid media and a large swath of the Twitterverse were not kind. It became so bad that Kensington Palace released a statement scolding the press about its treatment of her.”
Now that Meghan Markle has announced her exit, Respers France claimed that Britons have changed their questions about her from “Why are you here?” to “Where do you think you’re going.” Kehinde Andrews, an associate professor of sociology at Birmingham City University, said that Markle’s exit was partially inevitable.
“It was never going to end well,” said Andrews. “The British royal family is one of the premiere symbols of whiteness in the world. She was never going to be fully accepted.”
Likewise, Nsenga Burton, a professor at Emory University in Atlanta, said that criticism of Meghan Markle’s exit — which has now taken on a life of its own under the hashtag #Megxit — “reinforces the stereotype of black women being destructive, divisive, and unsatisfied.”
“People are cool with black women as long as we go along to get along,” she said. “As soon as we start standing up for ourselves and saying, ‘This is not working for me,’ we become the problem.”
Natasha Eubanks, founder and editor of TheYBF.com, echoed Burton’s sentiment, going further to argue that haters of Markle’s desire for “self-sovereignty” show tinges of sexism. “Having the audacity – because that’s what it is – to exhibit self-sovereignty has always been a privilege reserved for men, especially white men,” she told CNN. “Yet here is Meghan exhibiting this ‘audacity’ and it’s being … pushed forward by a white man who happens to be her husband.”
The sight of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle splitting off especially “triggers people,” according to Eubank, because it places “a white Prince of royal blood and a black American woman commoner” on equal footing.
“That sight doesn’t sit well with everyone due to how they’ve been conditioned to view women and people of color, whether they realize it or not,” she asserted.
In response to the arguments, “Good Morning Britain” co-host Piers Morgan, who previously hosted “Piers Morgan Live” on CNN, roasted his former employer for using the British Royal Family drama for an escapade of “race-baiting,” arguing that Meghan Markle invited most of the bad press she received.
“Disgraceful race-baiting by @CNN – this is such a lie,” Morgan said on Twitter. “Meghan’s had a LOT of very good press & some bad press when she has (mostly) deserved it. But I haven’t seen anything racist published or broadcast about her in the British media. It’s a lie.”
Piers Morgan then shared images of British tabloids fawning over Meghan Markle since the beginning. “‘Nasty racist British press had it in for Meghan from the start,'” Morgan quipped.
'Nasty racist British press had it in for Meghan from the start.' pic.twitter.com/vdKfOC5BTh
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) January 10, 2020