For those of us paying attention in 2016 and 2017, the British media’s racist abuse of then-Meghan Markle was despicable. Then it became so much worse when Meghan married Prince Harry in 2018. As the Duchess of Sussex, she was subjected to a coordinated and racist character assassination, a campaign which still continues to this day. In Prince Harry’s Spare, he lays out in pretty simple terms the onslaught of racist coverage towards Meghan and the utter lack of support they received from the institution. Of course, we could easily argue that the institution was and is working in concert with the British media to feed this narrative of Meghan as an angry Black woman, the maniacal schemer who, in Jeremy Clarkson’s words, deserves to be stripped naked and marched through the streets. What’s worse is that the same British media which has abused Meghan for years is ALSO obsessed with gaslighting her about the racist abuse and minimizing what she’s been through. Enter Richard Eden’s Daily Mail column, where he interviewed a mixed-race opera singer who talked sh-t about Meghan.
Meghan Markle’s claims of widespread racism in Britain were described as ‘very unsettling’ by opera star Danielle de Niese in comments to the Mail last night. Like the Duchess of Sussex, De Niese is a prominent woman of colour in her profession who married into an white, upper-class British family intertwined with a famous institution.
However, the soprano, who is married to Gus Christie, executive chairman of the Glyndebourne opera festival, said did not appreciate the comments made by the Duchess during bombshell interviews with Oprah Winfrey.
‘What I think is strange is to get your home country of America to say that the entire country of Britain is racist… I find that very unsettling. It’s not to say that racism isn’t everywhere, because it is, but I don’t think you can tar everyone with the same brush like that. To say a whole community of people are racist, that hasn’t been my experience.’
The soprano, 43, whose parents are from Sri Lanka with mixed European heritage, spent her childhood in Australia before emigrating with her family to America as a teenager. Now chatelaine of the estate in the South Downs, East Sussex, where music lovers enjoy picnics on the lawn before watching the world-famous opera during the summer, she considers Britain to be her home.
She did not agree with Meghan and Harry’s slurs about ‘racism’ in the Royal Family – which the Prince rowed back from in recent interviews – saying Meghan should have followed her example.
‘I am a mixed-race person and I have married a man who is not in the Royal Family but is still part of a big institution,’ de Niese told the Mail. ‘I’ve set out to support my husband and learn about the people around me. I very much set about learning about what happens here. There were people who tried to imply that I was ”trailblazing”, but I wasn’t into that because it feeds the ego.’
The First Lady of Glyndebourne has two young children with Christie and is stepmother to his four sons from his first marriage. ‘When Meghan and Harry first came to public attention, everyone was super happy for them,’ she adds. ‘I feel like we’ll never really know why it went wrong. It’s a complex story.’
I laughed at “I feel like we’ll never really know why it went wrong.” Harry and Meghan have told everyone what went wrong in very specific terms repeatedly, on camera and in print. If you choose to play dumb and participate in the British media’s gaslighting of a Black woman, then sorry, you’re as despicable as the British media. Meghan didn’t “slur” the Windsors nor did Meghan call the entire country “racist.” Both Meghan and Harry have said: it is the media and the institution of the monarchy. “To say a whole community of people are racist, that hasn’t been my experience” – so this B is leaving open the possibility that different women of color have different experiences?
As for “how dare you, America is racist too!” – like, we know. The difference is, America’s national media would never be able to run such a wall-to-wall racist character assassination on a prominent Black woman/public servant. It just wouldn’t happen, our media doesn’t function that way, it would be called out and newspapers and TV channels would lose advertisers.
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.