Address Royal Racism
At one level, I’m some old white guy who is bugged by racism in America. The single most important issue that our nation hasn’t addressed is racism. While it is true that the North won the Civil War, but the North lost the peace. As a white kid growing up in Mt. Lebanon and attending high school, I was aware of the issues of racism as a white kid, which meant that I had an objective awareness. I knew that racism was ethically wrong, but that insight was based upon what a white thought about racism. There is a vast divide that separates my white Weltanschauung from how blacks or people of color experience discrimination. What I knew was as emotionally informative as reading the weather forecast announcing rain on Thursday.
In high school and college, I did more workcamps, went on more protest rallies, and debated racism than a vast majority of other white kids my age. However, knowing, truly knowing, what racism was like and how it felt wasn’t in my grasp. Why? Because I wasn’t black. Any black kid on his or her first day in grade school grasped the reality of racism more than some white kid. My knowledge base regarding racism along with $5.00 at Starbucks would get me a white chocolate mocha. Blacks founded the civil rights movement, but it took several years before whites were involved.
The Oxford English Dictionary defines racism as the “belief that all members of each race possess characteristics, abilities, or qualities specific to that race, especially to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races.” In America, we define racism based on skin color. Nevertheless, that type of racism is relatively new in the long history of humanity. Humans have been discriminated against for many millennia based on other things than merely skin color. People, over time, have based racism upon nearly everything such as religion, captivity as a result of war, poverty, national/ethnic origins, etc.
At a deeper level, there are no biological races. The world isn’t composed of whites, blacks, Hispanics, Asians, etc. We are all from Africa. Humans started their exit out of Africa ca. 60,000-80,000 years ago. Anthropologists can trace all humans back to several women who lived in Africa and where some of their descendants went out of Africa by tracing their mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA).
So, why are there varying skin colors of humans around the world? The color of skin has to do with where people, who were our predecessors, lived relative to the distance from the equator. As our predecessors migrate out of Africa over tens of thousands of years, where they ventured determined their skin color. If a group lived a couple of thousand miles north the equator, they would have evolved, over many millennia, with a lighter color of skin. Levels of melanin determine our skin color. If you have a lot of direct sunlight, our levels of melanin will be higher, and, the further away from the direct sunlight, the lighter will be that group’s skin color due to our body’s need for vitamin D. That explains why Scandinavians have very light-colored skin and people closer to the equator have much darker skin.
In an attempt to allow us to understand racism more fully, we need to see racism in Great Britain. Their form of racism is multilayered. The central issue isn’t essentially color-based. It is based upon the notion that can be traced back to King Henry II in 1169. Henry II was the first British royalty to use the term, we. The we notion refers to the king and God ruling together. Hence, we get the idea of the divine right of kings.
The term we is entrenched in the royal mindset. Queen Victoria said, “We are not amused,” which meant was that God and she were not happy regarding some issue. We have no documentation about how God felt regarding that matter.
Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, who was a commoner, used the term “the royal we” when she announced to the world that her son and his wife had a child, which made her a grandmother. March 4, 1989, she stated, “We have become a grandmother.”
On this side of the pond, the American writer, Theodore Rockwell, said of the use of the royal we should be used when referencing three groups of people: “The head of a sovereign state, a schizophrenic, and a pregnant woman.”
Some Brits accept royal racism and the royal we, which means that royalty is superior or holier than the rest of us based solely upon birth. The we issue is a birthright. By birth, royalty are superior to the commoners. Essentially, God and the royals have a special rapprochement.
Now, this is where the we issue morphs directly into conventional racism. Peter Tatchell a British writer said, “The system of monarchy is, by default, racist…Whichever way the defenders of royalty try to spin it, there is no escaping the fact that non-white people are excluded from holding the title of British head of state."
In the past three years Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and wife of Prince Harry, has faced racism toward herself and her baby, Archie. The British and American societies have problems with labeling people. Meghan Markle is labeled black by many British. It is an exact parallel to Americans calling President Obama black. There are two problems with that type of labeling. At one level, it is incorrect. If racial labels are important for some reason, Meghan is biracial along with President Obama.
The other issue about labeling is that all human beings came from Africa. Therefore, we are all descendants of people who lived in Africa. The varying shades of our skin color were determined by where our predecessors lived after migrating from Africa over many millennia.
What these racial labels do is merely describe the geographical area from which our relatively recent ancestors lived. We are all human beings. Our skin color is determined by geography.
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex has mentioned that a number of the royal family were concerned by the skin color of her first baby’s skin color who was yet to born. Prince Harry condemned his relatives' racist remarks, which created a major scandal in Buckingham Palace.
Both the royal parents felt trapped by some of the royal family. That was why they left the royal family and eventually moved to California.
This is the video of Oprah Winfrey’s interview with Meghan and Harry regarding Archie and racism in the royal family.