# Harry and Meghan

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With Harry and Meghan making a soft exit from the Royal Family i would like to get people's thoughts on aspects of this situation, especially from the Brits here.

I like what they are doing, primarily for two reasons:

1. The perceived racism against Meghan

2. I hate the Queen telling someone how they must live their lives

Unfortunately I don't know if the racism claim is real  or if the Queen really controls them in the way it is described in news stories. I suspect the tabloid press is as bad as it seems.

Is racism in England as bad as it is in the US? Is the tabloid press as bad as it seems? Is the Royal Family and the expectations as bad as they seem?

From my remote view of things I see a couple of issues at play. First is how far removed an interloper (Meghan) is from the Royal Bastion of Whiteness. She's not family, not male, not British, not royalty, and not white. Hence much of the negativity. Second is that Harry and Meghan don't seem inclined to live their lives according to an ancient tradition.

I know this isn't a burning issue that needs the world's attention, but I do find it very interesting.

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Tradition is a powerful motivator, but it does seem to often stand in the way of progressive attitudes. I've always thought of the UK monarchy as a symbol of duty and stability, something that doesn't change and can be counted on as a cultural rallying point. At the same time, I think many traditions keep us from trying things that may be more appropriate to our times and circumstances.

I've always had the impression that the UK was not as generally racist as the US is, or at least parts of the US. Perhaps the "upper crust" is not immune to the kind of thinking that plagues our southern states? And I would imagine that royal bloodlines are much more sensitive to "outside" influences, since much of their status is derived from who their parents were.

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36 minutes ago, Phi for All said:

I've always had the impression that the UK was not as generally racist as the US is, or at least parts of the US.

I think this is misconception many folks have, and it is quite pervasive throughout Europe (i.e. it is not limited to the UK). I think there are several reasons for that, but I feel it is first necessary to contextualize the term racism a bit. Many folks see racism as the expression of racist attitudes or sentiments by individuals which range from stereotyping to harboring certain ideals of racial superiority (or inferiority). That in itself is not a issue in isolation, as that would be individuals being arseholes and you will find them in each society. What is different is mostly what is considered permissible (to state openly) , which in turn are obviously heavily influenced by respective histories. There is an obvious difference in black-white relationship due to the historic suppression of black African American communities up until very recently, for example. There are also different entanglements between certain races, social attitudes, influence of wealth and class and so on. It is relevant to state that most of our Western modern thinking about race and associated stereotypes are heavily influenced by enlightenment theories on human races, which, in turn, were strong affected by colonialist attitudes. As such you will find in quite a few Western countries, presumably also in the UK (where my knowledge is at best second hand) but certainly in Germany the stereotype that e.g. black folks are more physical and aggressive, for example. As such while there are interesting overlaps, the expression and permissibility of racist attitudes between countries is nuanced and it is easier to talk about the difference in form and impact rather than level.

One cannot really state that racist attitudes are not as pervasive as they are in the US. Europe as a whole has many ethnocentric tendencies (which is far less nuanced in the US), which we see very prominent with the rise of popularism throughout Europe and movement such as Brexit have been heavily influenced by explicit and implicit prejudice. While not all of them are along racial lines, it is undeniable that these are strongly correlated. In Germany many folks make a distinction between ethno-Germans (sometimes semi-jokingly called Bio-Deutsche) and those with a migration background, but rather obviously the latter are singled especially if they are  non-white.

However, that is not the whole story and perhaps not even the important one. As mentioned racism as a phenomenon on the individual level is not a huge issue per se, but it begins to become an issue if they result in systemic effects. This is often why folks distinguish between racist attitudes within minority and majority groups as the latter can lead to issues that are more commonly discussed academically. These issues include racial discrimination and racial inequality. While it is easy to conflate these terms there are very different mechanisms at play. For example racist attitudes can be foundational in the creation of either racial discrimination or inequality, it does need to persist in order to continue. Often things like implicit bias rather explicit belief in racial superiority are important drivers or even just historic decisions that have not been questioned. Even something as simple as not addressing issues that are not deemed important by the majority but have significant impact on minorities can create racial inequality.

In that light many parts of Europe do have similar patterns as the US. Some of them are borne by the fact that minorities traditionally (but less so in recent immigrants) have been working in low-skill jobs. But at the same time multiple studies have found discriminatory practices where certain minorities with same CVs are evaluated worse, for example or are less likely employed, have less social mobility than their equally poor majority counterparts and so on. A big difference is that since there is not such an overt historic conflict, it is rarely discussed as openly as currently in the US. There has always been the demand that minorities should assimilate and thereby become invisible as such, which obviously does not work well with visible minorities. What is different is potentially (but I am not well versed in UK politics) is that in the US there is a more concerted effort in suppressing the rights of African Americans. Such voter suppression strategies are, to my knowledge, not present in (most) European systems. However, historically (perhaps less so in the UK due to their empire) minorities in Europe often had little political engagement as a whole. Many, even those in the second or third generation were still seen as foreigners or immigrants rather than full citizens. But in recent years I have seen an attitude change (but, as noted, there are also strong countermovements).

So here we have a needlessly long answer which could presumably be summarized that a) on needs to define more clearly what one means with racism and b) whatever it is, it is difficult to quantify except some of its effects and c) racism and its effects are different between countries but I am not certain whether I would subscribe that the US is more (or less) racist (again, which measures?) than the UK.

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I really don't see where racism comes in.

The Queen feels the Monarchy has certain duties and responsibilities that rise above personal interests.
She feels the Royal Family should share this view, as it has served the Queen well for six and a half decades.
M Markle knew what she was getting into; she has no business complaining after the fact.

My biggest concern is the fact they want to move to BC, Canada, ( Meghan and Archie are already here ) and we will be on the hook for $1 mill per year to provide security for people who are no longer 'royal'. edit Rangerx, would you mind looking after them ? Edited by MigL #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites 42 minutes ago, MigL said: I really don't see where racism comes in. So, presumably you are not regularly exposed to the UK’s tabloid “newspapers” #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites 1 hour ago, MigL said: M Markle knew what she was getting into; she has no business complaining after the fact. How could she know? Do you think you know what it's like to be black, or a woman, or any other individual who is subject to harassment, simply because you talked and read about it beforehand? 1 hour ago, MigL said: I really don't see where racism comes in. I suspect that is because you are not black. Not that I am, but I tend to give more weight to blacks when speaking about their experiences, and the several articles I've read from blacks in Britain all come to the same point; they've all experienced similar attitudes and treatment by whites. The general consensus seems to be "what took Meghan so long to say "I've had enough!"?" (How in the hell do I handle that punctuation at the end of a quote embedded in a quote?!?!) #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites 1 hour ago, zapatos said: M Markle knew what she was getting into By that, I meant duties and obligations of the Monarchy. We Canadians like the Monarchy; you guys fought a war against it. ( and 3 decades later, against us ) #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites 33 minutes ago, MigL said: We Canadians like the Monarchy We Brits don't like the Monarchy (well , 'lisabeth is a class act) Would you have room for any more boarders? #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites 31 minutes ago, geordief said: (well , 'lisabeth is a class act) Why do you say that? She seems to never do anything untoward, but I keep reading these stories about all her (IMO) stupid rules. The Queen decides when everyone stops eating dinner, the Queen decides the type of clothing the royal family can wear, etc. Not to mention a young married couple has to get her 'ok' to run their own lives. Can you (or anyone else) tell me a bit more about the perception of her? #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites 33 minutes ago, zapatos said: Why do you say that? She seems to never do anything untoward, but I keep reading these stories about all her (IMO) stupid rules. The Queen decides when everyone stops eating dinner, the Queen decides the type of clothing the royal family can wear, etc. Not to mention a young married couple has to get her 'ok' to run their own lives. Can you (or anyone else) tell me a bit more about the perception of her? Sure,your description of her "house rules" does sound a little maniacal but on the one hand her private life (and that of her household ) is of no real interest to me personally or hopefully to anyone else immune to prurience. And secondly I cut her slack on account of the strange conditions she lives in - that I would like to a kind of prison environment. I think she is a class act because she copes with her harsh conditions without real complaint when the rewards are hard to discern (apparently she considers that she has a duty to the country-I think she is deluded but I respect her fortitude ) The issue of Monarchy versus other forms of self government is what concerns me most -the rest is incidental. #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites 2 hours ago, geordief said: is of no real interest to me personally or hopefully to anyone else immune to prurience. I find the dynamic fascinating. So little chance for a 'normal' life. Rules upon rules. Expectations drilled into them since childhood. Centuries of precedents. Incredibly rich but still collecting money from the public. Frequent rearranging of the succession possibilities. Living your life under a microscope. Sibling rivalries that have created wars and murder. The list goes on and on. Possibly it is more interesting to me because I'm not exposed to it like you are. #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites 10 hours ago, MigL said: I really don't see where racism comes in. #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites Not at all, John. It's a bunch of tabloid headlines that lead one to believe that Kate is much more appreciated than Meghan is. Where is the display of racism ???? I can think of many reasons why people may like Kate over Meghan without immediately jumping on the racism bandwagon. Kate gets along with her family. Kate takes her royal duties seriously. Kate smiles/laughs more readily. Kate seems to care more for people/kids she meets. Kate has nicer legs. Need I go on ? #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites On 1/15/2020 at 5:46 PM, MigL said: Not at all, John. It's a bunch of tabloid headlines that lead one to believe that Kate is much more appreciated than Meghan is. Where is the display of racism ???? I can think of many reasons why people may like Kate over Meghan without immediately jumping on the racism bandwagon. Kate gets along with her family. Kate takes her royal duties seriously. Kate smiles/laughs more readily. Kate seems to care more for people/kids she meets. Kate has nicer legs. Need I go on ? TBH, even if not applicable it is one of the things that POC often face when getting criticized for something that their peers are not. Overtly, it is never about race but something else. Weirdly, however, there is much larger pile of the "definitely-not-related-to-race-issues" on someones desk. Of course no one ever acknowledges it and the imbalance must clearly always be about something else. Quote For example, the press has talked about her “exotic DNA”; described her as “(almost) straight outta Compton”; attacked her for the very things that Kate Middleton, Prince William’s white wife, has been praised for; and compared the couple’s son to a chimpanzee. But in TV studios around the country, commentators seem to have peculiarly missed all of this. The coverage of Markle has been welcoming and warm, they say. And when confronted with the evidence that shows that certainly hasn’t always been the tone of reporting, they ask: Is it really racism, though? #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites 9 hours ago, CharonY said: even if not applicable it is one of the things that POC often face when getting criticized for something that their peers are not Well I guess that means any criticism of visible minorities is racism. And any criticism of Israel, is of course anti-Semitism. Both statements are, of course, demonstrably false. You realise that M Markle is 'whiter' than most of the Italians I know. #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites 5 minutes ago, MigL said: Well I guess that means any criticism of visible minorities is racism. And any criticism of Israel, is of course anti-Semitism. Both statements are, of course, demonstrably false. You realise that M Markle is 'whiter' than most of the Italians I know. If I didn't know I would say she was of hispanic heritage. #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites 2 hours ago, MigL said: Well I guess that means any criticism of visible minorities is racism. And any criticism of Israel, is of course anti-Semitism. Both statements are, of course, demonstrably false. You realise that M Markle is 'whiter' than most of the Italians I know. I think you are mistakenly equating individual events with a pattern. While it is true that an individual criticism may be nothing more than valid observation, a pattern indicates there is something more involved. Police pulling over a black person for suspicious behavior that doesn't lead to an arrest does not necessarily mean it is a racist act, but when you find blacks are disproportionately pulled over and released at a higher rate than whites, that is an indication that there was more involved in the decision to pull them over than simply "suspicion". #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites But this is an individual event Zap. People are comparing her to her to Kate; not to the general population, or various subgroups of colour. And, for me anyway ( not that I follow news of the Royal family much ), her attitude comes up short when compared to Kate. #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites Maybe we are talking about different things. I was referring to the many critiques from multiple newspaper articles, not just a single article. #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites Sorry, you may be right. I was referring to the link that John C posted comparing Meghan and Kate headlines. To tell you the truth, I like the concept of a 'just for show' Monarchy, the same as I like museums, or traditional customs, but I really don't follow them much at all #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites I don't really follow them either which is probably why I am unsure if what I'm reading is even true. It caught my eye because like some other 'celebrities', there seems to be a general dislike for her and the reasons why are unknown to me. On top of that, the royal family seems to be very active in the dealings of the country even though they have next to no authority to do anything. It's all so murky to me. #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites On 1/17/2020 at 7:21 PM, MigL said: Well I guess that means any criticism of visible minorities is racism. As Zapatos pointed out, it is about patterns and not individual events. What visible or other identifiable minorities (e.g. first generation immigrants, see e.g. the challenges Polish workers face in the UK) experience is a often subtle pattern. If they perform similar to their peers or work in or aim for positions that are considered above their station, they often encounter a certain level of resistance. Of course not all events are related to that, but they are more likely than their peers to be punished for the same actions, are less likely to get credit for the same performance and so on. Usually it is related to intangibles such as perceived leadership qualities or fit, for example. For many minorities it is very difficult to navigate and they hit this type of glass ceiling with very little recourse. On average their majority peers (even if they are more junior or even mentored by them) move to higher positions with more ease and this pattern is still present even if the group is actually overrepresented at entry level. We see that in academia, but also in management and other higher level jobs. Essentially there is system which promotes for folks that are more similar to those already in power than to promote or accept different ones. Now, it is a huge taboo to call that racism (in fact, it is likely going to threaten your career if you insinuate that). Nonetheless, the system results in racial inequalities as I mentioned above. Perhaps in order to make it more palatable (and in some ways because it is precisely that) folks have started to call it unconscious bias and promote training to address these issues. While I mentioned it is difficult to tell how much of it relates to the Meghan Markle, I will say that the colour of her skin means little here, her background is widely known. Also, you'll note that in the articles John linked that it is not the case that she is being criticized for some shortcomings in characters. Rather it is about criticizing the exact same behaviour. Also, I wonder how many children of royals have been described as chimpanzees in recent times. #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites On 1/14/2020 at 5:00 PM, MigL said: I really don't see where racism comes in. The Queen feels the Monarchy has certain duties and responsibilities that rise above personal interests. She feels the Royal Family should share this view, as it has served the Queen well for six and a half decades. M Markle knew what she was getting into; she has no business complaining after the fact. My biggest concern is the fact they want to move to BC, Canada, ( Meghan and Archie are already here ) and we will be on the hook for$ 1 mill per year to provide security for people who are no longer 'royal'.

edit
Rangerx, would you mind looking after them ?

I've heard the cost as being around 10 X that, though I'm not sure how much of that Canada would pay.

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Read an interesting article today, that proposes Harry as the new Governor General of Canada.
The current Governor General is Julie Payette, a Canadian ex-astronaut, who was apparently indicted in Maryland for assault and subsequently had the charges dropped and records expunged. Our PM called her the best of Canada when he nominated her.
Apparently she doesn't like the position much, either.
As the GG is supposed to be the Queen's representative in Canada, would Harry not make a much better choice since he'll be living in Canada ?
He gets the GG security team, and he earns his keep.

The only problem would again be the wife, as I don't think she'll put up with Ottawa weather ( preferring BC ), and she would balk at the ceremonial duties of the GG.

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On 1/21/2020 at 9:21 PM, MigL said:

Read an interesting article today, that proposes Harry as the new Governor General of Canada.
The current Governor General is Julie Payette, a Canadian ex-astronaut, who was apparently indicted in Maryland for assault and subsequently had the charges dropped and records expunged. Our PM called her the best of Canada when he nominated her.
Apparently she doesn't like the position much, either.
As the GG is supposed to be the Queen's representative in Canada, would Harry not make a much better choice since he'll be living in Canada ?
He gets the GG security team, and he earns his keep.

The only problem would again be the wife, as I don't think she'll put up with Ottawa weather ( preferring BC ), and she would balk at the ceremonial duties of the GG.

I think the main problem is that we might prefer to have our "own" appointed. Maybe Harry can stick around for a while and then apply for citizenship?

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