The Meghan Markle Phenomenon

In case you haven’t heard of Meghan Markle, she is an American who married the Prince of England, HRH Prince Henry (Harry) Duke of Sussex. She became the Duchess of Sussex. Meghan is a mixed race woman of color who is very accomplished in her own right. Her father is white and her mother is black.

She grew up in a separated home where both parents were hands-on in raising her. She went to the best schools and went on to graduate from a University with a major in political science and a minor in theatre. She pursued an acting career that finally paid off by the time she hit her thirties. She was living in Toronto where her hit show “Suits” was filmed. She got married to her longtime boyfriend after seven years of dating. It lasted 2 years because of the geographical distance between them; and they got a divorce.

During her growing up years she was shaped to be aware that she was blessed to have a place to stay and food to eat. Her mother took her to soup kitchens and they helped to feed the hungry. While she was working on the set of “Suits,” she would make arrangements to have leftover food brought in for the actors, taken to a soup kitchen or homeless shelter so it would not go to waste. She was born to be a royal.

She met Harry through a blind date set up by a friend to both of them. They got married and the rest is still to be written.

The one thing that is playing out is the race card and the mistreatment she has endured by the British press. They made up lie after lie against her for the sole purpose of destroying her character and Harry’s if they had to. The monarchy only has one rising star and that was the heir, Prince William, who will one day be King. So, her relationship with Prince Harry was doomed. She had no right coming into the royal family and becoming so popular. They were not going to have that. They hounded her and nitpicked everything she said and did. It took the famous interview with Oprah to shed light on their side of the story. This after four years of constant tabloid lies and made-up fabrications.

It was explosive!

But the thing that bothers me more than anything is how they treated Meghan. She was bi-racial, beautiful, smart, amazing and she loved charity work. That is what attracted Harry to her especially since he was getting ready to take his place on the world stage. The timing could not have been more perfect.

He said, “The stars were aligned when we met…”

Looking at Meghan took me back to an incident that happened in my life when I was working for a temp agency. My assignment was Hiram Walker, based in Canada. They moved some of their staff to the United States and I got a job there through Kelly Services. It was in the early nineties during a time after I was laid off from my newspaper gig after thirteen years of service. Affirmative Action was over and now, more people of color were either losing their jobs or working like me through an agency. I saw nothing but young people being hired at these temp agencies because corporations or businesses were not hiring them outright. These temp agencies provided the benefits that the companies used to be responsible for. That was an eye-opener for me.

As I was saying, I started working at Hiram Walker and a whole slew of black folks were hired at the same time. It looked like they were looking specifically for blacks to fill numerous new positions. I was an assistant to one of the managers and my work area was set out in a staff pool. I encountered this beautiful, bi-racial (black) young woman who came over to assist me in getting my computer to perform correctly. She showed me what the problem was and fixed it. I was so grateful for her help and was struck with how polite and warm she was. Unfortunately, I didn’t remember her name. I didn’t get the chance to really get to know her.

But I started to notice that she was not being treated well by the management. It got so bad that one day she was just gone. They had not even allowed her back in to get her belongings. The temp agency had to retrieve her things. To this day I don’t know what happened, and nobody was talking, but she clearly was under some kind of stress which I was able to observe at times. I never understood it.

I do believe that the good white folks there were behind it. After all, they ran the company. I never understood how she could be treated so poorly without having done anything that would warrant such abuse. I never was able to reconcile what happened to her but I never forgot it.

Seeing Meghan Markle so mistreated reminded me of that person and over the years I wondered where she was and if she was okay. I wished I had gotten an opportunity to really get to know her.

My point of all this is the phenomenon of Meghan and people like her. Mixed race, beautiful, poised, smart, amazing and above all kind. The young woman I knew was all of these traits. What did they have in common? The black in their blood. I saw movies of mixed race women who couldn’t be accepted in the white world. They had to live a lie to survive because of the mistreatment they got. Is it the white man’s guilt of what he did to the black race? The raping of black women produced this mixed blood and maybe they couldn’t stand it. Or they couldn’t own it. They wanted to be a pure race. They certainly were not going to claim this new breed.  So, create a climate of blame and victimization to soothe their guilty conscience.

Maybe what I am saying is too raw for anyone to accept. But I had to admit, there was something wrong with the picture that I saw at Hiram Walker. Meghan Markle’s picture is equally troubling. They will say, that the monarchy has to be protected and that is the excuse they will use. But we (the public) know better. We are on the outside looking in with clear eyes. Beauty and grace are usually to be praised. In Meghan’s case, it wasn’t. They preferred the awkwardness of Kate Middleton and Prince William to the poise and grace Meghan and Harry represented. Maybe they had no choice. Maybe they did.

In the name of Her Majesty the Queen.

About Shirley Harris-Slaughter

I love old buildings and history. That's why I ended up writing about the history that surrounded me all of my life - "Our Lady of Victory, the Saga of an African-American Catholic Community." Plus our church had closed and the school is torn down, so I felt it was imperative that we preserve the history or it would be lost forever.
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9 Responses to The Meghan Markle Phenomenon

  1. Shirley Harris-Slaughter says:

    Everybody, I had to spam someone by the name of NinaRose who was being insulting and condescending on this post. So I blocked her. Just so you know.

    Carry on!

    Like

  2. Thanks for sharing, Shirley.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Gail Bond says:

    We have always been under scrutiny as black folk! Remember how light complexion women pretended to be white in order to survive in the acting industry and elsewhere. Until white America admits their racial biases this will continue and it didn’t help when Mr. T was in the highest office in the land. Never seen such escalation of shite supremacy and racial bigotry at its best when he was in office! The United States has a long way to go still but let’s pray that with our new Administration things will get better for people of color! BLACK LIVES DO MATTER! It’s time for sincere change!!

    Like

    • Shirley Harris-Slaughter says:

      Hey Gail. What a surprise to see you. Yes,things are better already just not having to endure the vitriol coming out of the previous administration. Sadly, the moment momentum started to go in our favor white supremacist rhetoric fueled the uprising on January 6th. We thought the tide was turning but again we were put back in our place and reminded that things will stay the same. They are trying to cheat on the election process all over the country.

      Meghan Markle represents another example that black folks will not get the same dignity and respect.

      Like

  4. Linda Mims says:

    Interesting post, Shirley! I pray that when my mixed-race grandson grows up he’ll have strategies to repel the vitriol and racist anger that has escaped Pandora’s box and permeated the world. As such a grandmother I’ve begun to take notice of mixed-race young people lately, and the young British actor, Rege-Jean Page, who stars in the Netflix series Bridgerton, stands out. In live interviews he appears to be grounded and sure of his strengths. There are many mixed-race persons who, while they may not know it, can be positive examples for young mixed-race kids to study.

    Our homes must keep these young people covered and protected, and I thank God the home Meghan Markle’s mother provided was stable and balanced. Just look at her father’s side of the family. They didn’t suddenly get that way. They are dingbats and their “batty” behavior is Meghan’s history with them.

    The monarchy, just like Donald Trump and today’s unconscionable Republican Senators, is confused and out of touch with the real world. They would never allow a black heir anywhere near the crown, the seat of power … the title.

    Power is racist and corrupting. The Royal family is steeped in years of an ingrained caste system that starts with Royals and ends with commoners on the bottom. Their power and white privilege runs so deep, they don’t believe their behavior is racist. Their class system, which is centuries old, places even Harry’s bride beneath them, and their hearts weren’t into showing a united front designed to protect Meghan from Britain’s vicious media.

    Harry and Meghan had stars in their eyes
    Thanks for the thought provoking post today, Shirley.

    Like

    • Shirley Harris-Slaughter says:

      Linda thank you for your thoughts on this sad topic. The only good to come out of all of this is we’re having a conversation. We are no longer pretending that racism doesn’t exist.

      Like

  5. Shirley, I was involved in the Civil Right Movement in the 1960s. My father was from the south and my mother from the north. I can’t tell you where the racism was worse–in the south, where it was blatant or in the north (Boston), where it was always there but under the surface. Until we moved to Schenectady, NY, in 1979, I hadn’t seen or known personally many mixed race couples. In Boston, mixed race couples were shunned, and that was in the 1970s. Court-ordered chool desegregation was taking place in Boston and many of the white, mostly Irish- and Italian-Catholics who had sent their kids to the Boston Public Schools, took their kids out of those schools and sent them to Catholic schools because they didn’t want their kids associated with Black children. There were riots and parents pelted school buses with rocks and sticks. One young girl sat alone in her middle school in a famous photo in 1972 (almost like Ruby Bridges in the south). When my daughter taught in those same schools for 15 years, she had no White students in her school at all, only Black and Latinos. But nearly all of her students were eager to learn, and she discovered that rarely had they had “the bar set high” for them. She and her team did that for her students. Most of them knew nothing about the school desegregation battles; they knew about Ruby Bridges and things that had happened in the south, but not in their own city.

    I admire Meghan and Harry for sticking up for their family. The microscope they were under in the UK was burning a hole in them. The British tabloid press has been horrible on them, as it was on Princess Diana and even on Princess Margaret. They never seemed to take Prince Charles to task for the trysts he had with Camilla. Such double standards all around. Meghan and Harry have shown so much grace that we all can learn from. Going forward, I hope their experience can teach everyone a lesson about race, racism, misogyny and kindness–or lack thereof. Thank you for your post.

    Like

    • Shirley Harris-Slaughter says:

      Wanda,I I’m from Michigan which is as far north as you can get. I wasn’t aware of blatant racism either, just like you. As I got older I grew into an awareness of many discrepancies. One of them was being relegated to public housing. What I talked about in this post was something entirely different.

      I appreciate your thoughts on the conversation.

      Like

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