Harry And Meghan Call For Britain To Confront Its Racist Colonial Past
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle may live in the U.S. but they still hold sway over the commonwealth, and they say it’s time for Britain to confront its history of colonialism and racism.
Harry, 35, and Markle, 38, recently joined a video call with young Black leaders from across the British commonwealth including the Bahamas, U.K. and Australia for a conversation about justice, fairness and equal rights, NBC News reported. It was partly in response to the growing Black Lives Matter movement, which began in the U.S. and is now spreading across the world.
Headed by the queen, the commonwealth includes 54 independent countries — mostly former British colonies — whose combined 2.4-billion population represents a third of the world. The commonwealth became recognized as an organization in 1931 and but its origins date back to the Balfour Declaration in 1926. Membership is voluntary. The U.K. is a member state, as are Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa. The U.S. is not a member.
Member countries can get financial help from the commonwealth, such as relief during the coronavirus pandemic for many of the poorer countries, Daily Mail reported.
Harry and Meghan are president and vice-president of the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust, which launched a network in 2018 for young leaders in commonwealth countries and hosted the online conversation. The trust claims to champion, fund and connect young leaders who are working to change the world.
It’s time for Britain to confront its “uncomfortable” history of colonialism and racism, Harry and Meghan said during the online conversation.
“There is no way that we can move forward unless we acknowledge the past,” Harry said.
“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.
This is the latest in a series of public statements Harry and Meghan have made as they shift the focus of their royal work towards racial equality and social justice, Daily Mail reported. Harry apologized publicly last week for endemic institutionalized racism, saying he is sorry the world isn’t in the place where young people deserve it to be. They have spoken out multiple times on the topic of racism since George Floyd died in police custody on May 25, triggering global protests.
Meghan drew on her own personal experience to talk about unconscious bias. “In people’s complacency, they’re complicit,” she said. She is the first mixed-race woman to marry into the royal family.
Listen to GHOGH with Jamarlin Martin | Episode 73: Jamarlin Martin Jamarlin makes the case for why this is a multi-factor rebellion vs. just protests about George Floyd. He discusses the Democratic Party’s sneaky relationship with the police in cities and states under Dem control, and why Joe Biden is a cop and the Steve Jobs of mass incarceration.
Now living in Los Angeles, Harry and Meghan moved to the U.S. after enduring intense media coverage in the U.K. They cut off contact with some media outlets they said had engaged in discriminatory and racist coverage against the duchess.
“A couple of years ago, I heard someone call my mom the N-word,” Meghan said in a 2012 video for Erase the Hate’s “I Won’t Stand for Racism” campaign, Insider reported. The video resurfaced during the George Floyd protests.
There’s a growing call for the U.K. to pay reparations for its role in the slave trade. One of the world’s largest insurance firms, Lloyd’s of London has agreed to pay reparations for slavery after its role in the slave trade was highlighted in an academic database.