When Prince Harry and Meghan Markle waved goodbye to their positions as senior royals back in January, they also said goodbye to their official fancy titles, their expensive cottage, and all those mandatory royal work trips to countries in Queen Elizabeth’s commonwealth. It also means no longer feeling super awkward in a country that was colonized by Britain, as a representative from the monarchy responsible for their colonization. Like their 2019 tour of Africa, which was no doubt fun, but also pretty weird considering Britain’s very racist history with that continent. There’s a reason why Zimbabwe pulled an “I don’t know her” in 1980 by changing their name from the colonizer’s Rhodesia. Harry and Meghan know colonization is a gross part of Britain’s history, and they’re hoping that one day some everyone can address that too.
NBC News says that Harry and Meghan, positioned in front of the most boring wall in Tyler Perry’s mansion in Los Angeles, appeared on a virtual panel hosted by The Queen’s Commonwealth, published online yesterday. Their discussion, on “fairness, justice, and equal rights,” was conducted with several young Black leaders from the British commonwealth, with representation from Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean. Anyone with even the slightest knowledge of Britain’s colonial past probably nervously tugged at their shirt collars before slipping on their headphones and pressing play. But Harry and Meghan quickly addressed the royal elephant in the room.
“There is no way that we can move forward unless we acknowledge the past,” said Harry.
“We’re going to have to be a little uncomfortable right now, because it’s only in pushing through that discomfort that we get to the other side of this,” Meghan told the group. “It’s not just in the big moments, it’s in the quiet moments where racism and unconscious bias lies and thrives.”
“There is no turning back now, everything is coming to a head,” Harry said. “Solutions exist and change is happening far quicker than it ever has done before.”
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle discuss institutional racism in a Zoom call with young leaders pic.twitter.com/C1EgrW99w4
— The Sun (@TheSun) July 7, 2020
It should be no surprise to anyone that Harry and Meghan would publicly call out Britain’s racism. Back in 2016, Harry slapped at the British press for writing racist shit about his then-girlfriend. Meghan claimed recently in her ongoing fight against The Mail on Sunday that she felt “unprotected” by the Royal Family, who allegedly prevented her from fighting back against racism in the press, and who wouldn’t release statements defending her. Meghan spoke about the Black Lives Matter movement in a high school graduation speech last month. And just last week, Harry was speaking about racism and unconscious bias.
WATCH: Prince Harry speaks out on racism and unconscious bias. https://t.co/2Ag5zT2LLX
— NBC News (@NBCNews) July 2, 2020
It’s also been reported that Harry has finally split up the charity he started with his brother, Prince William, in honor of the late Princess Diana. So there’s one less reason for Harry to answer a call from William. And that also means a whole lot less awkwardness, considering Harry and Meghan want to have those uncomfortable conversations, and William and his wife aren’t exactly too keen on public activism.
As for the rest of the Royal Family, no one has taken Harry and Meghan’s suggestion to address their problematic colonial past. But I’m sure The Queen will be getting right on it, just as soon as one of her aides gives her an exhaustive lesson in what colonization is.
“Ma’am. Let’s try this again. Yes, colonization is where someone in a position of power pushes their way in to a place that isn’t theirs, traumatizes the citizens, robs them of their dignity, and often leaves things worse than they found them. But please please PLEASE, stop comparing it to the FBI trying to question your son, it’s not the same.”
And here’s the whole discussion: