The frenzy to deny allegations of racism after Meghan's interview
After watching the 'no topics off limits' interview between Oprah and Meghan and Harry, many viewers were left shocked and appalled by the couple's stories and accounts, particularly regarding the reports that a member of the royal family had questioned Archie's skin colour. Another shocking and sad report was from Meghan herself, who said she experienced suicidal thoughts while in the royal family and was refused access to help by 'the institution'. But mainstream news media outlets all over the world appear to be more concerned with the idea and allegation of racism than the the stories themselves.
Many publications provided the platform for what have been described as 'older, white British citizens' to give their thoughts on the allegations of racism and the couple's decision to participate in the interview at all. Many reported feeling the interview was 'unbecoming,' and 'a shame,' and that the 'complaints' of racism are 'baseless' and 'undignified.'
British tabloids where covered with clippings and quotes from the interview today, and were reportedly 'divided' regarding the claims of racism. Unsurprisingly, Piers Morgan was one of the commentators who hasn't let the reports stop him. Watch the below clips with our favourite [insert descriptor here] speaking over his co-host on Good Morning Britain.
What's glaringly obvious from the commentary in the press is that powerful white individuals (the people at the top of these media outlets) still believe it's up to them to determine what is and is not racist.
Many articles published overnight have been titled in a way that sets out to explain why Meghan and Harry's stories, particularly around the allegations of racism, were devastating, upsetting, or otherwise. It begs the very obvious question, why does it need to be explained? Why do Black people and people of colour need to explain to the world why racism is upsetting, devastating, wrong? This is just one more instance of the groups of people subject to vitriol not only having to endure it, but also having to stand up and explain to others how it's upsetting.
At the very least, we owe it to them to figure that tricky one out for ourselves.
Charles Anson, the Queen's former press secretary and a white man told the BBC that he "[doesn't] think there’s a strand of racism within the royal household at all." He went on to say, “I think it’s much more, not even in the main print and broadcast media, I think such racism that exists tends to be most active on social media and individuals.”
Interestingly, one can draw some parallels between this statement and the call for individual responsibility in the fight against climate change, with companies that are huge polluters encouraging staff and the public to 'buy a Keep Cup' and 'recycle' instead of examining their own environmentally damaging practices.