There’s the thing in the UK, where victims of racism are treated as if they’re culpable in their victimhood. Take for example Ngozi Fulani, the founder of Sistah Space, who was invited to attend a reception at Buckingham Palace, only to face a racist interrogation by Baroness Susan Hussey, QEII’s former lady-in-waiting and some kind of emeritus snob in King Charles’s court. Instead of establishing that Hussey was unquestionably in the wrong and that Hussey was a symptom of the larger racism issues in the royal court, the royal establishment immediately turned on Ngozi Fulani. Yes, Hussey was wrong, but it’s Fulani’s fault because of the way she was dressed, or because she was too sensitive, or because she didn’t show the proper respect to an ancient racist a–hole, or because, you know, Fulani is Black. I bring this up because the British media is still framing this controversy as an issue for which Fulani must say something or allow Hussey or the Windsors to abdicate their responsibility. There’s an insane amount of tone-deaf white privilege at every level of this story. Speaking of, look at how the Telegraph framed a new statement from Fulani:
The domestic violence campaigner at the centre of a royal race row has said she will go to Buckingham Palace to raise awareness of “cultural competency”. Ngozi Fulani, 61, said she was willing to go to the palace if it would help create positive change and “save lives”.
The charity director revealed last week that she had been subjected to an “interrogation” about her origins at a palace reception by Lady Susan Hussey, a former lady-in-waiting to Queen Elizabeth II. Lady Hussey resigned from her post as lady of the household for “deeply regrettable” comments about Ms Fulani’s background. Buckingham Palace said it had since made contact with Ms Fulani, while Lady Hussey is said to be keen to apologise directly. However, it is unclear whether any specific arrangements have been made.
In a statement released on Monday via her charity, Sistah Space, Ms Fulani revealed that since the incident had been brought to light, she and her team had come under “immense pressure” and received “horrific abuse” on social media.
“What took place at the event is now well-documented, and sadly is something that occurs on an all too regular basis,” she said. “Incidents like this not only cause emotional harm to those involved but do also have wider repercussions within the community. I have experienced first-hand what happens when a black woman faces adversity and has to overcome additional barriers when trying to report it. This is at the heart of what we do at Sistah Space, and it has reiterated to me just how important the work we do is. I remain dedicated to raising awareness around cultural competency, and will go to Buckingham Palace, or anywhere else, if it will help raise positive change and save lives. It has been an emotional whirlwind and we now wish to take the time to pause, reflect and learn from these events.”
Fulani: what’s happening to me in the media and online is what happens to Black women every day when they report crimes, abuse and racist acts against them. The Telegraph’s version: Fulani says she’s going to fix royal racism, whew, that was close, you guys! Anyway, Fulani had every right to report what happened to her and she has every right to continue to speak about it.
What’s reprehensible is that Buckingham Palace lied about contacting her and then the palace has continued to be utterly silent as their surrogates and allies insult, gaslight and lie about Fulani. What should have happened within TWELVE HOURS of Fulani reporting Hussey’s racism is that Queen Camilla should have personally called Fulani and extended another invitation to the palace. Camilla should have been sitting down with Camilla within a day, and Camilla should have apologized to her on-camera, and then given Sistah Space a royal platform. The palace should be issuing statements right now in defense of Fulani. The Windsors are just so incredibly bad at this.
Photos courtesy of Cover Images, Sistah Space’s IG and Sky News.