I Talked to Meghan and Harry About Systemic Racism. Here’s How It Went.
Surprisingly the Duke and Duchess of Sussex addressed the issues head on
This week an edited recording of a conversation between the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and four young people was released to media. I — a queer Black feminist woman — was a part of that conversation, choosing to put myself in proximity to significant power, privilege, and influence while exercising my own to highlight the efforts of young people in social justice work and make recommendations on the way forward.
Choosing to be a part of this conversation was complicated. I decided to be there, knowing that there would likely be criticism of a pro-Black, anti-capitalism advocate who is calling for wealth distribution to dare to sit with people whose titles are symbols of a legacy from which we need to be freed. Additionally, the Bahamas, where I live, will soon celebrate its 47th year of independence. We are a sovereign and democratic nation, yet the country remains “loyal to the Queen” who is still the head of state.
The persisting relics of colonization do not sit well with many of us, and we struggle to challenge and uproot them. Often, any mention of Britain or the royal family is cause for argument. It is against this backdrop that I joined a conversation with Meghan Markle and Harry, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. The former royals, now president and vice president of a foundation named the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust (QCT), participated in our weekly discussion on racism and injustice — a series I have been helping to coordinate since George Floyd’s murder. The July 1 conversation was the first time in recent memory that anyone in the royal family plainly spoke out on Britain’s colonial past and the resulting, and ongoing, issues of racial injustice and inequality.
“When it comes to institutional and systemic racism,” Harry said, “it’s there and it stays here because someone somewhere is benefiting from it.”
Meghan seemed to be pushing for privileged people to be more aware of their actions and to do more than talk about it, but to work and actually do something about it.
“It’s not just in the big moments, it’s in the quiet moments where racism and…