Just weeks after Meghan Markle celebrated her son’s first birthday, she is reminded of how far the world has to come in combatting white supremacy.
In a resurfaced video, she talks about her own harrowing brushes with racism — things that she experienced long before becoming a duchess.
In 2012, Meghan took part in a “Characters Unite “PSA for the USA Network, on which she of course starred in Suits.
“My name is Meghan Markle,” she began, at a time when she still needed an introduction.
“And,” Meghan expressed, “I’m here because I think it’s a really important campaign to be a part of.”
Throughout the video, she is seen wearing a T-shirt that reads “I Won’t Stand for Racism.”
“For me, I think it hits a really personal note,” Meghan explains. “I’m biracial.”
“Most people can’t tell what I’m mixed with,” she remarks, “and so, much of my life has felt like being a fly on the wall.”
“And so, some of the slurs that I’ve heard, the really offensive jokes or the names, it just hit me in a really strong way,” she laments.
“And then, you know, a couple of years ago,” Meghan reveals, “I heard someone call my mom the ‘n-word.'”
“So, I think for me, beyond being personally affected by racism,” Meghan’s segment of the video continues.
She says: “just to see the landscape of what our country is like right now — certainly the world — and to want things to be better.”
“Quite honestly, your race is part of what defines you,” Meghan shares.
She observes: “I think what shifts things is that the world really treats you based on how you look.”
“Certain people don’t look at me and see me as a black woman or a biracial woman,” Meghan explains of her experiences.
“They treat me differently, I think, than they would if they knew what I was mixed with,” she shares.
“And I think that that is, I don’t know, it can be a struggle as much as it can be a good thing,” Meghan admits.
She notes that this is “depending on the people that you’re dealing with.”
“Leaving L.A. was sort of like leaving this bubble,” Meghan admits in the video.
She recalls living in a bubble “where I was used to everything and had been exposed to everything.”
Everything, that is, “except for a close-mindedness that I experienced when I traveled outside of where I was from.”
While racism certainly exists in Los Angeles and in other cities, it can take more overt forms in some places than in others.
“And I think that in doing that,” Meghan reflects, “it just really opened my eyes to a mentality that still exists.”
It was a mentality “that I thought was backdated to the days of when my grandfather moved our family from Cleveland to L.A..”
“And,” Meghan describes, “they drove across the country and to stop to get food — whatever kind of place they were going to.”
“And they had to go around to the back to get food for the family,” she shares.
“You know, I thought that that was really isolated to those days that we were past,” Meghan admits.
“And,” she correctly points out, “sadly they’re not.”
Just because drinking fountains are no longer labeled separately doesn’t mean that people have equal experiences.
Generational inequality isn’t undone by lifting a few segregation laws. Look at Flint. Look at police violence against black Americans.
“I’m really proud of my heritage on both sides,” Meghan expresses.
She adds: I’m really proud of where I come from and where I’m going.”
At the time, she could not have guessed that one of the places where she was going would be the British royal family.
However, Meghan did very much have children on her mind at the time.
“But, yeah, I hope that by the time I have children,” Meghan expresses.
She says that she hopes “that people are even more openminded to how things are changing.”
“And,” she adds, “that having a mixed world is what it’s all about.”
“I mean, certainly, it makes it a lot more beautiful and a lot more interesting,” Meghan concludes.
That is a beautiful sentiment.
Unfortunately, British media gave her nonstop hell for being a black woman — without singling out her race — and part of the royal family.
The misery was so intense that she and Harry have stepped away from those royal duties and moved to the United States.
This past weekend’s courageous protests are evidence that, even in the face of appalling adversity, millions of Americans are still fighting for the change that Meghan wished to see back in 2012.
“Leaving L.A. was sort of like leaving this bubble where I was used to everything and had been exposed to everything except for a close-mindedness that I experienced when I traveled outside of where I was from,” she explained. “And I think that in doing that, it just really opened my eyes to a mentality that still exists that I thought was backdated to the days of when my grandfather moved our family from Cleveland to L.A. And they drove across the country and to stop to get food—whatever kind of place they were going to—and they had to go around to the back to get food for the family. You know, I thought that that was really isolated to those days that we were passed and, sadly they’re not.”
“I’m really proud of my heritage on both sides. I’m really proud of where I come from and where I’m going,” she shared. “But, yeah, I hope that by the time I have children that people are even more openminded to how things are changing and that having a mixed world is what it’s all about. I mean, certainly, it makes it a lot more beautiful and a lot more interesting.”