Well, that was bunch of nonsense. Your point is that Markle should have gone in and set about abolishing the monarchy? Also dismantling colonialism? Come on, Sir.

You argue that she’s too light-skinned to represent people of color? That’s the message your standing by? And also that’s she’s too rich, well-educated and accomplished to be an inspiration? I don’t know if you understand how inspiration works.

You are putting way too much on Markle. She met a prince, they fell in love and got married. She wanted to do what she could within the constraints of the family “firm” she married into. She has never claimed to speak for anyone but herself. In fact, she is known to have said, “Women don't need to find a voice, they have a voice, and they need to feel empowered to use it, and people need to be encouraged to listen.”

You sneer at Meghan Markle’s idea that she and Archie offer diversity within the British monarchy. Why the disdain? Being Harry’s wife and son literally diversifies the British royal family. Indeed, I know one person in that family who had his eyes opened to his own and his family’s racism, and that’s Harry. I assume you’ll give her that at least.

You hyperventilate over how MM, in your estimation, failed in all the many missions you gave her (but that she didn’t claim). Meanwhile, you ignore her legions of stans — so many of whom are people of color — all over the world. I guess we POCs don’t know our own minds. We thought we were proud of, inspired and mightily impressed by her. Nice try ‘splaining to us why we are wrong.

This whole piece is one big scoff at Meghan and Harry for the mishmash of failures you made up for them and for their current attempts to “elevate” the stories of people who aren’t being heard. Is the problem that they’ve found a way to get paid for doing good? Well, person of color with a platform who gets paid kettle, I’d love to know what you are doing better than pot to fix all the wrongs you point out in your piece. You get zero credit toward striking blows against racism, colorism, colonialism and the continuation of the British monarchy with this cheap-shots rant against Meghan Markle.

PS: That “village” in South Africa where Meghan and Harry are dancing and where apparently all Africans reside is called Cape Town.

Expand full comment

“A quick primer for those who (wisely) don’t keep up with royal family gossip.“

Was that necessary? Just a paragraph or two in, poking the reader — me — who has in fact kept up with Markle’s story? I think hers, vis-á-vis the royal family, is an important one, for some of the very reasons you are, I’m sure, about to point out. Is is not the people who have kept up with the RF gossip who are here for your essay?

So ... just a mild suggestion to avoid cutesy. And now I shall carry on reading the piece.

Expand full comment

I don’t refute any of your thoughts on the difference between material versus optical change. I would like to participate in a conversation about representation as association- what it means both symbolically and also viscerally to witness a nonwhite male occupy and use power. I wonder if semiotics would provide a deeper understanding. As individuals and as society, we have difficulty imagining something we don’t see (I’m working in community land use planning in the middle of a housing crisis and folks can’t SEE/imagine the harm that unaffordable housing is causing families and the community). As twisted and futile as you may recognize the Markle Monarchy Enterprise to be, I wonder how much space is created in the white psyche for power sharing when we start to see/imagine diverse leadership. I think we get a sense from the American psychosis in response to Obama’s presidency how much resistance the American psyche can throw up against that space. Thanks for writing and thinking you’ve offered here.

Expand full comment

The Welsh were exploited long before the current rate of immigration existed - read "Rape of the Fair Country" - so the colour of a persons skin does not exlusively identify a victim of oppression. It was a century ago, my Grandfathers generation and earlier. Since then and 2 world wars later countries and peoples I never heard of in school now live in our street. The World, Britain, and the Monarchy are now a different people - how many people outside of GB or its colonies even knew of the Royal Family's existence 50 years ago? Like the Romans, Vikings, Normans and others who invaded and oppressed the British, they all left their mark. Maybe in 1,000 years will be known for introducing the means of international communication via the English language (should it survive that long). Had an African nation (where the human race sprouted) been able to advance more rapidly, there might not have been a white, pink, olive, brown or other colour face on this planet. Fortunately for the author of this drivel, this was not the case, else his raison d'etre would never have been possible. Some people make a living by exploiting crime, some pornography, others exploit racism, and a few foster it for commercial gain and notoriety. Get a life!

Expand full comment

Nothing wrong with white people. Stop using all their technologies and contributions to the world if ya hate them so much. Live amongst your own or in a cave as did Bin Laden at times. Very few whites in these places . You’ll have these places all to your self. Promise.

Expand full comment

Oof. Thank you for voicing what I've been thinking. I find the Markle debate fascinating because it makes me question what a lot of prominent voices on the left are saying as well: people whose opinions I thought I agreed with. I'll admit, I've often fallen for the messaging of the monarchy: the queen looks like a sweet old lady, Prince Phillip was often funny (I found the criticism that most of the things he said were racist rather extreme) and they all live in storybook castles and drink tea and cakes. It's quaint.

But my country was a colony. Every day I see around me the fraught legacy of that. There is some value to the monarchy - the ultimate symbol of colonialism - evolving into something else over time, and perhaps one of the ways it does that is by having one of its members marry an energetic, intelligent woman from another race.

I'm in two minds over your proposal to abolish the monarchy. I see the case for it, but I also see things like William's Earthshot prize, or the queen's reassuring message during the covid lockdown as valuable. I think maybe the monarchy can evolve? Or perhaps we are so starved for somewhat thoughtful leadership that we'll take it wherever we can get it?

But I don't see Meghan's position as aspirational and you're right, I can't imagine her life being an inspiration to girls in Kenya. Nor do I agree with the couple's spin that the symbolism of their marriage was of great value to the Commonwealth, and the glorification of Harry's military service in Afghanistan is troubling. It sounds to me like they were two people who fell in love, got married, didn't get on with his family and left. It happens.

Expand full comment

I don't know how I stumbled on this piece but so incredibly glad I did--thank you for pointing out that an infinitesimally more diverse monarchy is STILL A MONARCHY. And that perhaps not economically exploiting former colonies of the British Empire is a better solution for them than providing optical representation within the monarchy of that same empire. I had no idea about British tax havens in Africa, thank you for including that bit.

Expand full comment