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The dog-whistle racism against Meghan Markle has to stop

Royal Central’s Editor talks about his experience of moderating racist abuse against Meghan Markle, and why it has to stop.

It is August 2017, yet I find myself writing a headline about why racism has to stop. Since the news emerged last week that Prince Harry had whisked Meghan Markle away to Africa to celebrate her 36th birthday, speculation has understandably been rife about whether an engagement is imminent. With news and speculation comes commentary and opinions, with some people expressing their admiration of Meghan Markle and some expressing dissatisfaction of the young American actress. However, some have gone one step further than criticism and are using racism to express a point, whether it is overtly or covertly apparent.

Some of the comments I have read recently include: “I thought the reason everyone flies the red, white and blue flag in England is because they don’t want black in the land.”

Other people, usually those commenting on Facebook posts, do not hold back when comparing Miss Markle to a monkey or when calling her a ‘black bitch’. This is nothing short of racism, and anybody making these comments, or indeed justifying them brings shame to all those associated with them.

But some of the abuse is more subtle dog-whistle racism. What does this mean I hear you ask? Well, by saying that Prince Harry dating a mixed-race woman is “why people voted for Brexit” for example. Or, saying that Miss Markle has “exotic blood” or even linking her to the slavery trade in some way. With every article and news story that is published, there are often idiots and trolls who seek attention. However, speaking as Editor of a news website who manages and moderates comments both on the website and social media, I can say without a doubt there are a large proportion of people who are abusing Meghan Markle because of the colour of her skin.

Of course, we also get hundreds of comments which say they dislike Miss Markle for whatever reason – and that is fine, who cares? Personally, I couldn’t care less whether you dislike Miss Markle, or whether you do in fact like her! The problem I have, and the problem every right thinking member of society should have, is when the colour of a person’s skin is used as a reason for justifying their distaste.

It isn’t often I am in agreement with Kensington Palace, but last year they released a statement addressing the issue:

“[Prince Harry’s] girlfriend, Meghan Markel, has been subject to a wave of abuse and harassment. Some of this has been very public – the smear on the front page of a national newspaper, the racial undertones of comment pieces, and the outright sexism and racism of social media trolls and web article comments.”

But what are racial undertones, and have they actually been used? Let’s take a look at an article in the Mail on Sunday last year, where columnist, Rachel Johnson (brother of Boris), said if Harry and Meghan had children, “the Windsors will thicken their watery, thin blue blood and Spencer pale skin and ginger hair with some rich and exotic DNA”.

Exotic DNA? What is that supposed to mean? Is it a covert racial smear just because Miss Markle’s mother is African-American? On Twitter, Ms Johnson said: “My col was the opposite of racist and “exotic” means foreign, non-native, or originating in a foreign country. So shoot me now!” I’ll leave you to make your own mind up about this statement.

Some may be asking what is the point of me writing this post today, and what it seeks to achieve? For starters, I know it will not stop the racist abuse. In fact, I am certain this very post will attract blatant racism! What I hope it does do, however, is highlight the problem that exists. Many readers may be ignorant to other users comments and believe the matter of racist abuse is made up by the media to create a story. But let me tell you, as somebody who has to trawl through thousands of comments each day, there unquestionable racial abuse that makes my skin crawl. Fortunately, we manage to catch most of them before they make it onto the website. As I have said previously, feel free to criticise Miss Markle, as you are free to criticise any person. However, attack their character, not their skin colour!

  • Clarice

    Claps out loud. Well said.

  • Nancy Drew

    No one called her a monkey. She’s playing the race card well. She has always dated rich white guys and has a privileged life. Sick of black people using the race card. It’s boring and overused.and her skin colour is very very light.

    • Gerry

      No one is more of a social climber then Kate Middleton and her mom but no one points that out. At least Megan has had a career for her own and her own money and has it waited 10 years hoping somebody would marry her.

      • Nancy Drew

        Kate and will dated for eight years and Kate’s mother worked very hard to make her money. Read up before you start your argument.

        • Jas

          her mother got the money from her rich brother Gary and her husband’s trust fund

    • Jas

      Race card? Meghan Markle has never even spoken or given interview about anything since the relationship was leakedand last i checked,her ex husband wasnt rich and neither was the ex boyfriend and those are the only relationships we know about

      • Buon Di

        her ex husband had connections, seems like once she hit the fame carper the marriage broke up. I read her father was a lighting person on a TV set but he left the business, most likely not of his own choice, about 6 years before MM started acting. When you leave Hollywood even for 5 minutes no one wants to know you. just my opinion.

        • jas

          you make no sense.what does this have to do with her father? and what connections does her husband have considering she talked about how she struggled to get parts so if he did,he definitely didnt use that to help her.

  • Dee Holmes

    No one called her a monkey? Are you serious? MOST articles I’ve read contain horribly racist comments about her. It’s so sad & pathetic.

    • Nancy Drew

      Show me the article where they called her a monkey.

      • Bella

        Find them (the articles, because there are many) yourself. Even if we spoon fed you with 5 links of such articles, you’d come up with other bogus reasons.

        • Nancy Drew

          No if you are quoting something the onus is on you to prove it.

          • Bella

            After having looked through your comments on this site, I just don’t think you are worth the time it would take me fish out the articles/comments. Sorry.

    • Anna Sterling

      You are absolutely right. It’s a disgrace

  • Nancy Drew

    I love being called exotic I am mixed. It’s a beautiful compliment. In other countries white people are called exotic. There’s nothing racist about it.

    • MontanaRed

      It’s all about context. Charlie Proctor’s points are valid.

      • anna maypac

        peace we want peace!

        • Melissa Gibson Badillo

          Fuck every last one of you die die die!

    • jas

      well not everyone loves being fetishized nancy

      • Nancy Drew

        If you think using the adjective exotic defines a fetish you are either a nut or ugly. Meghan is an exotic beauty so what that’s pretty part of why she is beautiful it’s the exotic blend. But beauty doesn’t mean she is great like all you rich ass kissers are saying

        • refugeesillegalsgohome

          She is also no beauty but then again neither is Harry

  • Ana Marie

    First of all at 36 yrs of age she is hardly a “young” actress, as you put it. She’s likely ridden a few casting couches. The fully grown and aging womanly actress has also been previously married to a television producer (coincidence?), was heavily involved with her celebrity chef boyfriend, then dumped him the second Harry came in to the picture. This is a very conniving social climber looking for the set up of a lifetime, not the innocent wide-eyed girl you are trying to sell in your article. By the way, I’m half aboriginal. Skin tone does not matter.

    • Nancy Drew

      Very well said

    • Bella

      @ Ana the bitter, half aborigine……I think you are a disgrace. Stop projecting your own standards on Meghan. She’s funny, playful, articulate and smart as a tack. Oh, and did I mention gorgeous? THATS the reason she has so many “eligible” men going after her. Try improving yourself rather that bitching online and perhaps you might see a change in your own fortunes too.

      • refugeesillegalsgohome

        Gorgeous?? Are you blind??

        • Bella

          Your name tells me everything I need to know about your mindset and so I’d rather not engage with you, if that’s ok. Chuurs.

    • jas

      and maybe if you werent so blinded by your hate for her,you would use your commons sense to know that she even admitted she was single and that was before she was seen with Harry,unless the person themselves is lying and you are telling the truth

    • Buon Di

      it’s not about race it’s about character, etc. etc.

    • Frank Van Der Heijden

      Yes, because Caucasian English commoners who would love to marry Harry do not qualify as social climbers

    • Ethel Hansen Davey

      I do believe that Harry has “ridden” a few as well. This woman is a humanitarian, an intelligent person, a talented actress, and a very down to earth person. For you to call her a social climber is very unfair. I’m sure that you, as all of us, have had relationships that did not work out. No one would judge you for that.. Lets face it, the day of the virgin bride is long gone. get over it.

      • refugeesillegalsgohome

        Humanitarian?? What has she done?? Good actress?? Surely you jest!

      • GUEST

        Great point but many virgin brides about mainly religious ones

    • refugeesillegalsgohome

      EXACTLY

  • JR

    Ignorance is Bliss. Racism exist and whoever doesn’t believe it, is deaf, dumb, and blind. White people do experience reverse discrimination and whine about that. And yes, she was called a Monkey, go back and read ever comment related to when they walked across the Tarmac in Africa, unless your aptitude is on the mentally challenged side and only thumbed thru the comments that justified your own racism…

    • Nancy Drew

      Meghan markle is a well known social climber and no saint. If this prince was poor she’d be nowhere. JR you are the racist and you know it. Racism is not just against Africans. African Americans just blow it out of proportion and you are mentally challenged as it’s attitude not aptitude.

      • Stacey Johnson

        Your the racist !! if your saying Americans not Africans because most brown skin people have not be to Africa * we don.t call white people European Americans now do we and social climber define social climber that could be seen as racist its self. lets not for get we all bleed the same color …

        • Nancy Drew

          You need anger therapy and English lessons. Referring to someone as African is not a racial slur unless you Stacey think that being of African origin is not up to your mark. I’m mixed I have many African friends and German Irish American friends but you have serious self loathing issues and guess what your anger and your own racism will make you exceedingly unhappy as time passes. High time you got an education so you can get a good job and not love with anger and hate. Goodbye dear. May the universe bless you

          • AJACO

            And you know this exactly how?

        • Wenda Kyle

          Please learn how to spell correctly before you go on a rant. It really doesn’t become you. The words are “you are” and “let’s” and “forget”.

          • Nancy Drew

            Yes. Agree with Wenda.

      • Daisymay

        Yes I remember being racially abused in England more than once just because I wasn’t English ..but I’m white and I come from the UK.

        • Nancy Drew

          I remember being racially abused in India by lighter skinned Indians. But never by other white people ever

      • AJACO

        And now do you know this?

    • Nancy Drew

      White people? There you go you racist.

  • Bertie Gee

    Thank you so much for this – I’ve been watching recent reporting in horror at precisely the slurs you mention. I was disgusted when a 6-year-old article was dragged out to launch the ‘ethnic tag. It’s nasty, twisted and wholly indefensible – and guess what? We’re just gonna keep right on rooting for this wonderful young woman wherever her future may lie!

  • Jenna

    Why block or blur out their faces… if they are going to be a racist, show them to the world.

  • lmgill2

    There is no room for racism. These people don’t know her and neither do I. I hope they are happy together or apart. I don’t think Prince Harry should be thinking about an engagement right now. He has just admitted to dealing with his mothers death recently and its the 20yr anniversary. Its a very emotional time. Decisions of this magnitude shouldn’t be made while in a potentially overly emotional state.
    If he does propose I hope that she really thinks about what she will not only be gaining (meaning Harry) but the many things she will have to give up like her acting career. I would hate for things to go bad after time b/c she suddenly doesn’t like her new responsibilities and the things she gave up. That would be awful for both of them.

    • Joan Alcala

      Well said, I agree with you.

  • Sharon Davis

    Who’s business is it if Harry marries this young lady. Wasn’t queen Charlotte of mixed race? I say good one Harry, it’s finally good to see a royal member look outside the damned box.

    • Buon Di

      it’s not about race

      • Sharon Davis

        Its exactly about race. I was born and breed in good old England and abused because of the color of my skin not because off who I am. The british are very racist, considering there are only two people off color in parliament in 2017 is darn right disgusting considering the mother country invited themselves into many countries where natives are from. Queen Victoria adopted a little black girl from Africa, I didnt know this until I had emigrated to the USA, she also was close to an Indian man towards the end of her life – ok he worked for her but the point is he was in the royal household as an employee. What was or is there to be ashamed off. Every couple of years I go to visit relatives in the UK and as I come of the plane at heathrow airport I am reminded of my skin color. So yes Prince Harry, fall in love with your mixed race girlfriend I hope she becomes your wife because mixed race/people of color are also human. This is coming from me who has caucasian grandparents off both sides of the family.

        • Nancy Drew

          I lived in London. No one was racist to be. I’m brown.

  • anna maypac

    peace in the middle east!

  • Angela Tircuit

    I find some of these comments very disturbing. Someone writes an article about racist comments directed towards a person. You would think the barest minimum decent response would be to agree that it is unacceptable. Even if you can’t stand Meghan Markle, you would think anyone with a pinpoint of humanity could say “I don’t like her, but no one deserves the comments mentioned in this article.” Is it really ass kissing or painting her as innocent to say don’t be racist?

    If I disliked a person and read an article saying they had been subjected to racist comments, my first instinct would not be to write a comment going into all the reasons I dislike them. Because I would have the basic intelligence to realize the article isn’t about why I’m wrong to dislike them or why they’re a great person. It’s about “don’t be racist” and I would focus on that.

  • Frank Van Der Heijden

    This woman is hotter than many of the obese, tattoo-covered Caucasian English women with bad teeth I have seen walking drunk on the sreet or eating like pigs in cheap resort in the Canary Islands or soutern Spain

  • Ethel Hansen Davey

    For goodness sake, we are all a mix of some kind or other…That’s as it should be.

  • vegastearoom

    Charlie Proctor, now that your well written piece is over a month old, please feel free to remove the obviously racist comments below. Now that you have beaten the bushes, please shoot the foul fowl that have emerged you clever boy.

  • Elizabeth Spencer

    I wish some pathetic people would stop stirring the proverbial sh*te and just lie down in it and drown

  • Jenny

    I think Megan is really beautiful

    • refugeesillegalsgohome

      You need glasses

  • refugeesillegalsgohome

    Her character is the problem not her skin color.

  • GUEST

    Excellent article. The Daily Mail has been the main one to try to discredit Ms. Markle at every turn.

  • Mmwebster

    You don’t just marry a person, you marry their family. I don’t see Harry or their future offspring being comfortable in the homes of her relatives or vice versa. Not a good idea.

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