The Duchess has a lot of explaining to do. And apparently, some learning to do as well!
If Duchess Meghan Markle thought her latest episode of the top-rated podcast Archetypes was going to further endear her to the Black contingent, she may want to press rewind on her excerpts and get some history lessons on Blackness. As she discussed racism, being biracial and mixed race with Mariah Carey, it became clear to me as a listener.
It was NOT giving.
I have seen this scenario more times than I care to count.
One of these women has embraced her Blackness fully – no matter what hue it comes in – while another appears to have straddled the fence for as long as she could until she was pushed to one side. This is a common conundrum I have witnessed firsthand with mixed race/racially ambiguous Black people that oftentimes attempt to see how far the privilege of less melanin will take them in the white world. And then, once they realize that they are not white enough. When they are called out for their Black origins, they attempt to run B(l)ack.
And to be clear, the Black contingent, by and large, has never denied them in the first place. Typically, it is the other way around.
Meghan – Caught Up In The Mix
Meghan Markle was raised by a Black mother and White father. Mariah, primarily by a white mother and Black father. In general, mixed race children fare better when the mother is Black as opposed to the mother being white.
This perspective of MINE does not portend that Meghan’s mother did not rear her in Blackness at every chance. What seems to have happened here is that Meghan had enough experiences as an older adult where she saw clearly what passing among white people could afford her and simply ‘went with it’. Mariah’s mother, as she has stated in many interviews, steeped her in Blackness and she ran towards even more of it the older she got.
Not so in Meghan’s case, who many Black Americans did not even know of until she was fianced to Prince Harry.
But Meghan, as a mixed-race BLACK American should have known better. Many believe she DID know better. But many believe believe she did what many mixed-race people do, and what is seen more on the other side of the Atlantic.
Do you know how many times white Brits try to make Meghan Markle pick her whiteness over her Blackness as she was walked down the aisle by her whole, entire Black mother? Or that she calls herself white simply because she looks white to them?
The Conundrum Of Color (Or Lack Thereof)
Bi-racial, mixed-race Black people that attempt to see how far their lack of melanin can take them up the hierarchy. Because darker-skinned Black people have no choice BUT to be Black ALL day, EVERY day. And we have always known how white people perceive lighter skinned Black people. Yet and still, we consider them our own.
Even when they try to distance themselves. Even when they try the light-skinned climb at the expense of their own. And even, in Meghan’s case, she tried to reach for the stars and got singed by the rays and her wings clipped by the vile British press and The Firm.
Still, we let it slide and let her back in.
And now that she has been flung from The Royal Family, she has run B(l)ack and is now all for her people, when – and the proof is in the pudding, go gather the receipts on your own – she was doing everything BUT that.
Now, while it doesn’t matter how she came to this realization, what does matter is how she approaches it as an alleged role model for biracial women navigating this issue. Her podcast, so far, could easily be called #DamageControl, because it is not giving nearly as much as she thinks it is. The more heard, the more problematic she comes off as.
Because many Black people find it hard – actually IMPOSSIBLE if we are to truly go there – that a whole, entire Meghan Markle, born and raised in one of the most multicultural and multi-ethnic countries in the world (and even moreso in California, no less) did not understand her Blackness and what mixed race REALLY meant until she was damn near 40 years old.
No, Princess. MISS *me* with that light-bright lie.
Meghan’s New Mission Should Be
How about you address in upcoming issues of #Archetypes, Meghan:
‘What mixed race IS and is NOT’
‘Mixed Race is NOT a Race’
‘Why Mixed Race People CHOOSE and the Repercussions’
‘Why My Children Will Be Mixed Race Despite Looking Passably White’
‘What I Intend To Teach My Children About Racism, Colorism, and ‘Passing’
Get real, Meghan.
Being disingenuous is NOT the tea.
You’ve already run B(l)ack.
Run ALL the way.
Because for those of us that have ALWAYS been Black, have NEVER straddled a fence, have NEVER been anything but defiantly proud of our ethnicity, whatEVER hue?
We are waiting.
And more importantly, we are still rooting for you.