OPINION: Meghan Markle’s humanity will be on display during her interview with Oprah Winfrey and that is what some of her critics fear
Fairytales are for Disney. It’s why I knew Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s “happily ever after” wouldn’t play out like Cinderella and her charming groom. After a wedding, baby, miscarriage, and being linked to Saudi terrorists, some folks still won’t even admit the knife is there.
Meghan and Harry’s highly anticipated interview with Oprah Winfrey about stepping back from the British Royal Family airs this weekend on CBS. As the philosopher Lizzo once sang, “You could’ve had a bad b*tch.” But not everyone has taste.
So many folks have talked about this woman as if she were at the Capitol on Jan. 6. Now, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will have their say and it’s got some feeling that they’ll end up on the Summer Jam screen. Predictably, the British press is sounding the alarms that Meghan, speaking without permission, is about to put 99-year-old Prince Philip into an early grave.
Since weaponizing the health of Harry’s grandfather to force CBS into canceling the interview isn’t doing the trick, Buckingham Palace has gone to the tried-and-true method of the angry Black woman trope. Meghan, 39, worked in the cutthroat world of Hollywood for years and there was never a whisper of her being rude.
With days to go before her anticipated interview with Oprah, she’s been rendered a bully who made two aides quit via a leak to the Times. How convenient is that? Previously, she was accused of making Kate Middleton, now-sainted Duchess of Cambridge, cry buckets of tears.
To add insult to injury, the Queen Elizabeth-led Buckingham Palace has now announced it will be investigating Meghan and the allegations against her. The audacity and colonialism is strong.
The latest smear has an extra layer with the implication that Meghan supports murder because she wore earrings provided to her by Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman during a formal dinner in 2018, which took place weeks after the death of reporter Jamal Khashoggi. The Saudi crown prince has been named as the person who ordered the killing of Khashoggi, although he was denied any role in the murder.
Again, this isn’t the first time that Meghan has been slandered as some kind of terrorist sympathizer. After the successful launch of her cookbook Together: Our Community Cookbook, the project was associated with terrorists by critics. There was also her love of avocados causing “murder.”
On and on it goes. I can see why Meghan has got some things to say. At least she’s gonna say it all with her full chest while the palace prefers to hide their velvet-gloved hands.
The British Royal Family should’ve just put up a “Whites Only” sign on their diamond-encrusted palace walls. It would’ve been easier than their seeming dedication in acting as if she’s not a part of their Firm. She certainly isn’t afforded the protection that is extended to Prince Andrew, who palled around with convicted sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein and is now wanted for questioning by FBI, Prince William, who’s alleged affairs were rebutted with the threat of legal action, and accusations of Kate Middleton getting Botox being shut down with the quickness.
The Royal Family mantra of “never complain, never explain” is only a discipline when it comes to the woman of color being told to deal with any kind of disrespect. Protocols were invented to other Meghan, but she claimed in court documents of being unprotected by the Institution.
Again, Prince Andrew is right there. The FBI wants to question him about allegations that he had sex with an underage girl. He deserves a few segments across the British airwaves but the rage is reserved for Meghan.
Piers Morgan is leading the charge. She curved him a few years ago and now he carries on as an enraged ex. Dear Meghan, I wrote you but still ain’t callin’
Some of her offenses have been closing her own car door, 5 a.m. emails, crossing her legs, and cradling her own baby bump. Trolls even told her to leave the country. She did bounce, but Harry wasn’t expected to go with her. As R.S. Locke notes, their departure marks the collapsing pyramid scheme in which allows the monarchy to still function in 2021: the belief that birth automatically makes one better than the other.
Harry and Meghan leaving shattered that notion. You don’t need a royal title to lead a worthwhile life and one of service as evidenced by their Archewell Foundation.
Some say Harry and Meghan were premature in leaving a royal life of cutting ribbons with a side dish of racism, xenophobia, and being told that you’re owned by the public. Meghan wasn’t afforded a moment of peace during her first pregnancy. After she delivered, she was berated for not holding a social media session where she showed just how Archie slid out the birth canal.
Nothing she would have ever done as a royal would’ve been good enough, because she’s not a pure white English rose. It stands to reason that she was only tolerated as a shiny object of diversity, a mascot to be seen but not too much because dimming her light is necessary for others to shine, and above all else, to be mute.
Still, her will proved to be too strong and it no longer became about breaking her down into a trained pet. The one drop rule morphed into wanting all out blood.
It’s as if she stole The Crown’s last dollar. In many minds, she is a thief by virtue of marrying Harry. Meghan is reduced to a runaway slave that needs to be whipped into submission because she’s not sufficiently grateful for entering a predominantly white space. In the same breath, Harry is reduced to a child who doesn’t know any better.
Harry is a grown 36-year-old man. Judging by his appearance on the Late Late Show with James Corden, he’s got incredible stamina. He’s more than capable of running for his life if Meghan were holding him hostage.
Harry is a man in love. That kind of love that makes you want to be better, learn from your past mistakes and tell your toxic family to chuck deuces. He put a ring on it and contrary to Windsor convention is actually honoring those vows. He’ll be right beside Meghan during the interview.
I’m going to be watching, nodding along, and with the words, “I told you so” on the tip of my tongue because I’ve witnessed her harassment in real time. I’ve tweeted—a lot—about her mistreatment and written about how she’s been scapegoated.
It’s been exhausting shouting into the void. I’m 5 feet tall but will be on the front lines if someone is being bullied. It’s in the blood as the daughter of Haitian immigrants and born in Brooklyn. Like the Mississippi Mass Choir, I’m not tired yet. Many of us aren’t.
There is a devoted group of women and men, affectionately dubbed the SussexSquad, who took Meghan’s abuse as a call to action.
They’ve created podcasts, videos, viral threads, compiled receipts and stood in the gap with a devotion that has been wrongly accused of blind worship. For many of us, we saw a woman being picked apart because she wouldn’t live in a state of bowed head. She didn’t have to be perfect to be deemed worthy of support that appeared scant from an establishment she married into and an all-too-willing press ready to feast.
It only became on-trend to push back against the racial, xenophobic and misogynistic abuse in 2019, when her voice cracked with emotion and she shared that no one asked if she was okay. It’ll always sting that it took a woman of color being visibly emotional on camera for her pain to be noticed.
Meghan’s humanity, which many have tried to strip from her, was on display. For those who wish she and Harry would just go live somewhere without any running water and let folks lie on their names, reminding the public that she is indeed a human being is a contradiction to their caricature of her.
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