Tuesday, November 28, 2017 at 7:41 AM

Like Barack Obama, Meghan Markle is Black. So Why Is She Passing…?

Posted by Anthony L. Hall

He is a flame-haired former wild child, who courted controversy in his youth by smoking cannabis and by once wearing a Nazi uniform to a party. She is a biracial, divorced actress from abroad. Together, they are taking the British monarchy — that most conservative of institutions — into a more modern era.

Prince Harry, a grandson of Queen Elizabeth II and fifth in line to the throne, is engaged to Meghan Markle, his American girlfriend, the royal family said on Monday.

(New York Times, November 27, 2017)

Both Obama and Markle have one white and one black parent (his father, her mother). But, by generally accepted classification, they are both black. Moreover, we ascribe this classification regardless of the individual’s preference – as wannabe “cablinasian” Tiger Woods will attest.

The nation’s answer to the question ‘Who is black?’ has long been that a black is any person with any known African black ancestry. This definition reflects the long experience with slavery and later with Jim Crow segregation. In the South it became known as the ‘one-drop rule,’ meaning that a single drop of ‘black blood’ makes a person a black.

(PBS Frontline quoting Professor F. James Davis’s ‘Who is Black? One Nation’s Definition,’ 1991)

So why is Markle passing? And, more to the point, why is everyone playing along?

Frankly, I am disappointed that so many independent news organizations are bowing to some unspoken protocol to refer to her as “biracial” or “mixed race.” After all, these same news organization have always referred to Obama as black.

Black girl in the firm
Tra la la la la
There’s a black girl in the firm
Tra la la la la la
Black girl in the firm
Tra la la la la
But she passes for whiter than white
White white

Regrettably, only one thing explains Markle’s royal whitewashing.

‘She won’t be allowed to be a black princess. The only way she can be accepted is to pass for white,’ Kehinde Andrews, an associate professor of sociology at Birmingham City University who launched the first black studies degree in Europe, told Newsweek.

(Newsweek, November 27, 2017)

Trust me, if Harry wanted Meghan to identify as black, not only would she do so but she would act as if she never played that biracial card. Unfortunately, racism trumps even the manifest desire of this anachronistic royal family to seem “relevant.” The irony is that embracing an interracial marriage would imbue it with relevance … in spades.

Of course, the British monarchy once reigned over dominions where black slavery flourished, and still reigns over a Commonwealth composed mostly of black nations. Therefore, little could be more symbolic, perhaps even reconciling, than for the royal family to celebrate the marriage of this prince to a black woman.

Meanwhile, the media have obligingly propagated lore about royal ties or aristocratic blood in the genealogy of every “commoner” who married into this royal family. As farfetched as it might seem, I fully expect them to do the same in this case.

Apropos of which, this weblog is replete with commentaries decrying British royalty and all of its prerogatives, perquisites, and prejudices.

What concerns me is that people around the world seem even more vested in this anachronistic institution today than they were when William’s parents, Prince Charles and Lady Diana, got married 30 years ago (on July 29, 1981).

I have long maintained that royalty is anathema to the universal principle that all people are created equal. Moreover, that a democracy that perpetuates royalty in the twenty-first century is almost as cancerous (and oxymoronic) as one that perpetuated slavery in the nineteenth.

(“The Problem Is Not Kate’s Weight, It’s William’s Title,” The iPINIONS Journal, February 11, 2011)

Therefore, I couldn’t care less about the hullabaloo surrounding Markle’s engagement to this, admittedly charming, royal spare. I just feel compelled to call shame on all who are playing along with the royal farce afoot, namely, of not allowing Markle to be a black HRH Princess Harry of Wales.

That said, the lady’s royal wave needs taming, methinks. It’s a little too … giddy.

Related commentaries:
Cablinasian Tiger
The problem
Royal marriage
British honours

*This commentary was originally published yesterday, Monday, at 6:35 pm

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